By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- Don Lemmon is a part of Midland Police Department's Citizens on Patrol. Without asking for a dime, these folks drive around the city, looking for anything unusual. It's the same type of volunteer-work George Zimmerman was doing the night he killed Trayvon Martin in a Florida gated community where Martin was staying with his father.
When Zimmerman called in his suspicions about Martin, police dispatchers told him to not confront the teen. However, he followed Martin. A struggle broke out and Martin was shot to death in what Zimmerman is calling "self-defense."
In Midland, volunteers have to travel in pairs, completely unarmed.
MPD Officer Jimmy Young says, "They are not allowed to carry any sort of weapons."
Lemmon says, "A lot of our group has a concealed handgun licenses but you can't carry a weapon. Period."
In fact, they're not even supposed to confront anyone on the street.
"If they see something, they need to call it in. If it's something's out of the ordinary, call it in," Young said.
"We carry a radio and we can talk to the officers and the dispatchers directly," Lemmon said.
He agrees that the weapon-free policy is the right one to have in place.
"If you jump out there and you've got a gun, there's a chance you could get shot," Lemmon said.
Lemmon believes the officers should go face to face with suspects. He doesn't think that's a job for regular citizens.
The Odessa Police Department has a similar program. Theirs also bans weapons and any confrontation.