Citizens in Dutchtown say their neighborhood patrols are working -

Citizens in Dutchtown say their neighborhood patrols are working

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

( -- In June, News 4 told you about residents in a south St. Louis community assembling citizen patrols in an effort to keep their neighborhoods safe.  Now, the force has doubled in size and residents say the effort is paying off.

On Sunday, about 50 people trained with police on how to safely patrol their neighborhoods.  Police told the trainees not to get involved if they see a crime, but rather document it. 

Officers showed volunteers how to fill out police reports and told them to carry a digital camera to document graffiti and nuisance properties.  Police were very clear in asking volunteers to avoid taking photos of a suspected criminal.

Volunteers with the citizen patrol program train with police, then go out in pairs and patrol their neighborhoods.  Dutchtown residents took up this idea about two months ago with around 40 volunteers.  Fifty more people joined the effort on Sunday.

Jim Dauphin, who lives in Dutchtown, said the patrols are doing some good and other areas are taking notice.  "That gives us a good signal that you know the word is getting out and they want something like that in their neighborhood too.  I think its a matter of time when all the neighborhoods start hearing and seeing these things that they'll want to do the same thing in their neighborhoods."

People also learned about something called a "Neighborhood Order of Protection," which is basically a restraining order that residents can ask for to keep certain criminals out of their area.

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