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Sherrif’s Citizen Corps volunteers help safeguard river parks
by Tribune Staff
Aug 22, 2012 | 1978 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — Sandy Petersen has a special kind of love for parks. She also appreciates the importance of keeping parks safe and is willing to give up several summer evenings per week to join other Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers who are helping to keep an eye on some of Washoe County’s popular river parks during the month of August.   

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office initiated the program for CERT volunteers to have a presence in Mayberry, Dorostkar and Ambrose river parks following a recent increase in vehicle burglaries at these parks.

Sheriff’s office data showed that the peak problem hours in the parks were between late afternoon and sunset. The sheriff’s office asked volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team to organize volunteers to be in the parks during those hours on various days throughout the month of August.

CERT volunteer Sandy Petersen stepped forward to help organize and participate in the effort.

“These parks are vital to the well-being of our community and I want to be a part of efforts that help keep them safe places for people to visit and enjoy,” Petersen said.   

All volunteers are trained members of the Sheriff’s Office Citizen Corps. Their purpose is to provide safety information to park users while keeping an eye on the parks and reporting suspicious activity. Their presence in the parks is also expected to help to discourage unlawful behavior.   

Al Rogers, Acting Director of the County’s Regional Parks and Open Space Department said the Citizen Corp volunteers are providing an invaluable service to the department and the community.

At the end of the month, the sheriff’s office will evaluate the program to determine if the visible presence of sheriff’s volunteers had a significant impact on park related crime and whether the program was successful enough to deploy sheriff’s volunteers in other parks in the future.

The sheriff’s office is nationally recognized for its data driven approach to reducing crime and increasing public safety in Washoe County. Crime statistics are reviewed weekly and used to proactively fight crime in the region and provide the best possible services to the citizens of our community.
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