Houston Police Department sponsors volunteer program to keep communities safe

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HOUSTON, TX - After 9/11, American citizens realized just how important staying vigilant truly is. Today, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, people are still cautious. That's why the Houston Police Department is sponsoring the Citizen Patrol Program. It's a way to have extra eyes out around the community. Officer Johanna Abad says, "The Citizen Patrol Program is a volunteer program. We get people to organize themselves within their community, and basically just come together to be the eyes and ears for the police department in their own communities."

The program helps keep neighborhoods safe, by allowing "neighbors" to drive around in their own cars and keep a lookout for anything suspicious in their community.

Conrad Fertitta, a member of his neighborhood Citizen Patrol Program says, "The importance of everything is to be vigilant of everywhere you are. You know we all look out for each other and a lot of times we get a lot of thumbs up, thanks for checking our neighborhoods and keeping everybody safe.

HPD requires citizen patrol groups to have eight people or more participating. They must be least 18 years old, have a valid Texas drivers license, and be able to patrol a minimum of 30 hours per month. The patrols are asked to not take any action if they see anything suspicious, and to call the police immediately. The city feels having this added presence out on the streets helps deter criminals. Fertitta adds, "If you have some time, give back to your community. Offer them that little more safe and secure feeling."

The Citizen Patrol Program is helping keep Houston safe. One street at a time.