Crime watch gets detailed reboot

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

It’s taken a couple of tries, but the Port Isabel Police Department Community Crime Watch seems to have gotten off to a stronger start this time around.

The small meeting room adjacent to the main building at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center (PIECC) was full during the crime watch’s inaugural meeting last Thursday, Jan. 19. Several residents were in attendance, including former city commissioners, small business owners and current Commissioner Carmen Rios. One woman walked in a few minutes late, her three children in tow.

At the edges of the room, several police officers sat quietly listening to fellow officer Lealani Cooper explain what a community crime watch is and how it benefits a town. New Chief of Police Robert Lopez looked on from a front row seat.

Cooper began with a brief overview of the Principles of Law Enforcement, outlined by Sir Robert Peel in 1829 before explaining how the idea of community crime watches got their start via the National Sheriffs Association in 1972.

When members of a community get involved in their own neighborhoods, when they get out and get to know their neighbors and take an active approach to preventing crime, then crime rates do, in fact, fall, Cooper explained.

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