AUSTIN — AUSTIN -- Those with Austin Police Department say they’ve had an influx of interest in neighborhood watch programs since the recent string of Austin bombings.

Veronica Saldate of the Austin Police Department said citizens have to attend a training before they can start their own program.

The training covers various topics, like when to call 9-1-1 versus 3-1-1, how to give good suspect descriptions, and how to “harden your target,” which means making it more difficult for thieves to get into your home, car or business.

Saldate said the groups help with safety in neighborhoods because they force you to get to know your neighbors.

She said people are more likely to help out someone they know.

The APD District Representatives have the second of a three-part training scheduled for April 3 at the South Substation, 404 Ralph Alblanedo Drive, at 6 p.m.

Saldate said all are welcome to attend, even if they missed the first training.

She also said people can contact her at (512) 974-4735 if they would like to schedule their own training.