Holiday patrols are helping the Kennewick police reduce thefts around stores during the holiday season.
The program brings 41 trained volunteers out to parking lots in the west end of Kennewick, near the busiest shopping areas.
They patrol in a black and white Ford Crown Victoria with flashing amber lights that used to be a police car. Volunteers are provided a light blue uniform with a patch.
“They are volunteers, extra eyes and ears,” said Sgt. Ken Lattin. “We used to have a lot more theft in our retail district than we do now.”
They are not police officers but are an extension of the department to help deter vehicle prowls, car thefts and shoplifting.
“They are just volunteers. They see something. They can call it in,” said Lattin.
Volunteers have completed the annual spring citizen’s academy and background checks. Most are retired people helping out.
The program has been conducted for more than five years and ends after New Year’s Eve.