By Kelly Werthmann

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– The Wheat Ridge Police Department just launched a new program this month called National Dog Walker Watch. The program is designed to help increase awareness for suspicious behavior or activity in the city and determine what should be reported to police.

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“This is a great way for residents and their four-legged friends to help local law enforcement as they do what they do every day, walk through the community,” Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan said.

“What we ask is if dog walkers see suspicious behavior like seeing someone attempting to open car doors along neighborhood streets, someone trespassing behind buildings/houses or cars driving around with their lights off after dark that they make a call to 911 or our non-emergency line.”

The first training class is planned for Tuesday, July 11 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Wheat Ridge Police Department. It is free and open to Wheat Ridge residents and dogs must be licensed. Those participating in the program will be presented with a certificate signed by Police Chief Brennan as well as a special neckerchief for their dog to wear as they “patrol” their neighborhood. Those certified pets will go on daily walks as Honorary WRPD K-9s.

(credit: CBS)

Dog Walker Watch encourages neighbors to assist local law enforcement as extra eyes and ears while out walking their dog. The program aims to enhance the partnership between police and the community.

(credit: CBS)

Space is limited for the July 11 training class. Pet owners can register online. A second class is set for August 7, but those interested must register in-person at National Night Out on August 1 at Hayward Park in Wheat Ridge.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 This Morning over the weekend and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.