The Alief Super Neighborhood Council held its second annual Law Enforcement Town Hall Meeting at Alief I. S. D. Hastings 9th Grade Center on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. The meeting was an opportunity for local residents, business owners and other interested parties to gather together to ask questions and share their public safety concerns with area police professionals. The panelists on hand to take community questions were Sergeant Laura Morgan, Pct. 5 Constables, Chief Dan Turner, Alief I. S. D. P. D., Lieutenant Tim Kubiak, HPD Westside Gang and Tactical Unit, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Captain Mary Lentschke, HPD Westside Commander, Lieutenant David Fausek, HPD Westside Neighborhood Services, Assistant Chief John Chen, HPD West Division Command.Moderator for the meeting was Brian Burks, Director of Services for International District and retired Sheriff’s Deputy. A lively discussion was had with many interesting questions and answers shared. Paramount on the minds of the citizens in attendance was the affect layoffs and cutbacks might have on emergency response times. The panel collectively assured that life threatening emergency calls would always be given the highest priority. None of the panel seemed to believe such calls would be greatly affected by reduced manpower at current levels. Both Sheriff Garcia and Assistant Chief Chen agreed, however, that response times on many other calls could increase. Both men urged the community to use on line reporting when available, but not to hesitate to call for an officer if truly needed.
“Law Enforcement has come a long way since I started in the business in 1979. Police are better equipped, better educated, and better trained.”
Business Owners Watch Out for Scams!
A local commercial shopping center recently caught a man on surveillance camera removing the large storm drain cover from the drain hole, then driving his car tire into the hole intentionally! We believe this may be an individual who intends to present the commercial property owner with the subsequent bill for vehicle damage and personal injury resulting from having driven his car into the open hole! Please be aware of this potential Scam and if you have experienced this problem or know someone who has please contact the Houston Police Department at 713.884.3131. The International District would also appreciate a phone call 281.564.5252 so that we can update your fellow business owners of this potentially ongoing issue.
Many citizens in attendance were concerned about the status of the West Side HPD Storefront which operates many productive neighborhood programs such as the Positive Interaction Program for apartment communities, Blue Star and Crime Prevention. Captain Lentschke advised that the Storefront was still operational at this time; however, manpower had been reduced by one civilian employee. Citizens also expressed concern about a seemingly growing Homeless Persons and Panhandling problem in the area. Sheriff Garcia very frankly explained that such persons tend to congregate in areas where they are positively received. He suggested that there were agencies that were well equipped to deal with such persons, and that a call to such an agency might be more productive than giving food or money. Mr. Steve Foster of Search Homeless Services joined this discussion and explained his agencies outreach efforts to the homeless. Mr. Foster advised that citizens could contact his agency direct regarding any homeless person or panhandler at: 713 276-3034.