In its fight against crime, Woodbury is recruiting a new set of allies: dog owners and their furry companions.
Paw Patrol, a neighborhood watch program debuting Wednesday, aims to enlist dog owners and inform them on how to better observe and report criminal activity while routinely walking around their neighborhoods.
The city held its first training session for dog owners at 6:30 p.m. July 13 at the Woodbury Public Safety Building, followed by an additional training event for owners and their pets this fall.
Cities like Bloomington and Apple Valley have created similar programs in the past for years. And like many of those communities, Woodbury also relies on neighborhood watch programs to help police lookout for criminal and suspicious activities.
"Paw Patrol is simply a means to engage people that are already spending hundreds of hours out and about in the city to be informed eyes and ears for public safety," Woodbury Police Commander John Altman said.
Altman added that sometimes people don't want to get involved when they see an incident, or they think someone else will call 911.
Though he said the program will encourage people to be proactive in calling public safety, it's also a way for neighbors to meet.
"The happy coincidence is that the program will bring community members together that share common interests--dogs and the well-being of the community," Altman said.
Dogs will receive a Paw Patrol bandana after completing the program.
The program doesn't give owners additional rights, and public safety officials encourage participants to only report and watch for possible criminal activity.
The first training event will be held in the Public Safety Education Room inside the public safety building, which is located at 2100 Radio Drive.
Owners should not bring their pets to the event.
Interested dog owners can sign up for the upcoming Paw Patrol training sessions at tinyurl.com/woodbury-paw-patrol.