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Opening Arguments

On the lookout

A desperate descent into panic or a creative search for a solution?

ANTIOCH (CBS SF) – The shorthanded Antioch Police Department is enlisting the help of local garbage collectors and letter carriers to spot crime on city streets.

Employees of the local trash collector, Republic Services Inc., as well as U.S. Postal Service employees have been given tips on how to act as effective witnesses to crimes. The program, dubbed “We’re Looking Out For You” aims to add some experience eyeballs looking out for the city’s 105,000 residents.

As part of the training, drivers received a list of questions designed to help them identity criminal activity, as well as a laminated copy of the police department’s non-emergency phone number.

Actually, this would make a lot of sense even in no-budget-crisis times, and I'd be surprised if a lot of cities aren't doing it. Hope Fort Wayne is one of them. Mail carriers are probably the most valuable lookouts. They're out there day in and day out, and probably know the neighborhoods and what looks out of place there better than anybody.