Safe Streets offers free citizens' patrol academy

For Pierce County residents interested in starting safety patrols in their neighborhoods, Safe Streets has announced it will offer free training through its citizens’ patrol academy.

The next three-part training series begins Oct. 18 from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at Tacoma Police Department Headquarters, 3701 S. Pine St. To graduate from the academy, participants will need to attend two more sessions Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.

A citizens’ patrol is seen by residents and law enforcement alike as an effective alternative when increased police patrols are unavailable, according to Safe Streets organizers.

Trained citizens’ patrols drive through their neighborhoods looking for suspicious activity and situations that can attract crime, simultaneously acting as a crime deterrent with their presence alone. Patrollers learn how to provide timely and detailed information to the police so that they can respond to situations quickly. In some cases they are equipped with spotlights, two-way radios, identifying car signs, and reflector vests.

Members of established neighborhood groups like the Lincoln LAWGS and Larchmont Safe Streets have already completed training. Recent graduates like the Sunrise Citizens’ Patrol from South Hill show that it’s not only groups from Tacoma that are getting involved.

Coordinating this training program is David Cantlin, whose neighborhood group has maintained a citizens’ patrol for over five years. The Stewart Heights Citizens’ Patrol members’ efforts have won them an award from the Law Enforcement Support Agency (LESA) and a City of Destiny Award.

Registration for this training is recommended. Contact Safe Streets at (253) 272-6824, or email the Citizens’ Patrol Coordinator at