TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's a cliché' you always hear but Block Watch volunteers are the eyes and ears of police when they can't be around to catch the criminal.
Toledo's Block Watch program is healthy but new volunteers still need to be recruited.
Block Watch held its 29th annual Summer Picnic Saturday to thank leaders and volunteers for their efforts to make the streets of Toledo safer.
But the picnic was also a recruitment event for the organization.
"Block Watch doesn't patrol but we don't put ourselves in harm's way. We make that commitment to report things we see that aren't quite right and that's to the police and administration," said Toledo Block Watch Chairwoman Jane Mulliken.
Typically the Block Watch volunteer is a senior citizen because they have more time on their hands.
That number though is dwindling.
The push now is for younger people, not always easy because they have families to raise and are involved with other activities.
"I think Block Watch is probably one of the most powerful partnerships the police department has. And it builds a partnership based upon making neighborhoods safe, clean and livable," said Officer Tracy Britt of the Toledo Police Department.
Some areas lack a Block Watch presence.
Case in point is downtown Toledo where more people live and work.
Volunteers at the picnic say they make and see a difference in their neighborhoods.
"I think it helps. We're more aware of what's going on. Next door, the street over. Everybody communicates. It does help," said Robb Spalding.
Lutricia Gray agrees.
"People want to live in a safe, happy environment. And Block Watch tries to instill that," said Lutricia.
If you think you have what it takes to be a Block Watch volunteer call 419-245-1119.