A new program in Howard County is calling on residents to be the eyes and ears in county parks.
The park watch program is a joint effort between residents, visitor, county park rangers and local police.
The goal of the program is to improve park safety, increase public ownership of parks, and deter and reduce crime.
"The more you engage a community, the more vested they are, the more likely they are to report things that occur in that community," said Howard County Police Department Chief Gary Gardner.
Residents can get trained on how to recognize criminal or suspicious activities, how to properly report issues, and how to stay safe in the parks. Those interested can become dedicated park watch volunteers through the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks.