Seattle neighborhood hiring off-duty cops to patrol streets

SEATTLE -- The north Seattle neighborhood of Whittier Heights is fighting back against crime.

What started as a neighbor patrol through the streets is now going a step further -- with the hiring of off-duty cops to patrol their streets.

Resident Brad Renton has seen it happen all too often -- car prowls, home break-ins, drug dealing on the streets.

"Saw a strong armed robbery right in front of us, and it was pretty violent, and the next day I was approached by a drug dealer when I was walking down by Ballard High School," Renton said.

He wanted to do something about the crime. So in late November, Renton began walking the streets along with some of his neighbors.

"I have a couple of homes where the people are out of town; we want to go walk by them, look around their house. I`ve picked up packages for people who are out of town -- do that kind of thing," he said.

Renton and other began to raise funds to hire off-duty police officers to patrol the area.

He said the patrols will begin in the new year -- officers will either walk or bicycle while wearing their uniforms.

"We don`t announce when they will be here, we don`t really know when they're going to be here, though they`ll let me know," he said. "So criminals won`t know when they're here -- and word will get around."