WACO (December 4th, 2012)- Looks can be deceiving for the members of Waco Police Department's Citizens On Patrol unit.
They scout large parking lots near shopping areas, attempting to minimize auto burglaries as well as make shopping areas safer.
As Waco Police battles holiday crime, the Citizens On Patrol unit can patrol areas the the department overlooks.
"For us, they are the eyes and ears of the Waco Police Department," Waco Police's Crime Prevention Coordinator Dan Ferguson said.
What Citizens On Patrol excels in, is letting citizens know if their car is a prime target for a break-in.
It's a simple process. Members of the unit patrol populated parking lots, they look inside vehicles. If they notice any valuables in plain sight, they mark down what they saw on an auto burglary pamphlet, and place it on your windshield.
"If we can prevent a car break-in, then it is great for the community," Citizens On Patrol member Gloria Valdez said.
"We see phones, iPods, GPS systems, and other things you'd want to keep out of sight," Citizens On Patrol member Frank Shepard said.
As members, both Shepard and Valdez play a large part in creating awareness about car break-ins.
But the most admirable thing about Citizens On Patrol, is that members don't get a paycheck for their services since they are all volunteers.
"We do this because we just want to make the community safer, that's all," Valdez said.
So if you stumble upon a member of Waco Police Department's Citizens On patrol unit while you're shopping this Christmas, be sure to thank them for their efforts that prevent crime.
"You have to understand the time, effort, and commitment they are putting forward to help us all," Ferguson said.
"You don't find much of that anymore."