|Chief Jayroe (center) with Commander Lawing, Criminal Investigations (left) and Commander Sinclair, Patrol Division (right)|
|Invited Attendees Listen to Chief Jayroe Address the Group|
Crime reports for each group represented at the meeting were distributed. These reports indicate all calls to the department, not just those that result in criminal offenses. Officers from the Patrol Division then talked about the main problems and safety issues found in each subdivision. While most subdivisions have issues, they varied greatly. Key Allegro, for example, has more problems with theft of property from boats on the canals where owners leave fishing equipment in the boat, while other subdivisions had mainly traffic and parking issues. Burglaries and thefts tend to be "crimes of opportunity" often because the home residents have left the garage door open or back doors and windows unlocked. In several cases in Country Club the police discovered windows that were unlocked even though the homeowner thought they were secure. He advised checking windows regularly. If patrol officers see a garage door open at night they will wake up the residents to alert them. Backyard lights were also recommended as long as they are reasonable and not flooding light into your neighbor's yard.
One question that came up from a neighborhood dealt with door to door solicitors. Each person coming to your door must have a permit from the city. The city issues very few permits and a call to the police department can tell you if the person soliciting should be in your area. The police will come out and cite to offenders, who are often scammers. Permits issued to the home office or main salesperson are not valid for door to door soliciting. Non-profits (501(c)(3)s) are exempt from the ordinance.
After answering questions from the attendees about specific issues in their neighborhoods, Chief Jayroe concluded by reminding everyone to call in about anything that doesn't seem right. It's their job to figure out if something is going on or not. He could not stress strongly enough that if you feel any concern or have a bad feeling about something, call it in. While emergency calls for criminal activity in progress should be called to 911, other calls can be directed to 361-729-2222. He reiterated that all crime is "crime of opportunity" but some people make it their career to look for those opportunities. We can limit those opportunities by locking up cars and homes, watching for suspicious behavior, and knowing our neighbors. The next meeting will be in May and interested neighborhoods can call the department to be added to the notification list.
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