On Saturday August 4, first responders and auxiliary organizations participated in a community safety event at the Las Lomas Apartment community in Arlington, Texas. At the event, which was the first in a series dedicated to community safety in at-risk neighborhoods, residents had the opportunity to talk with Arlington Police, EMTs, and members of the Fire Department. Other volunteers from Stealth Monitoring, the Arlington Hispanic Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association and a youth group from McKinney's LifePointe Fellowship in support of Mission Arlington were also in attendance.
The community safety event consisted of a variety of activities for residents and children to enjoy, including a soccer cage, face painting, balloon art, a jump house and a video game trailer sponsored by Stealth. Children could also get up-close and personal with Buddy and Opie, police horses for the City of Arlington.
The fun did not stop there. The Arlington Fire Department brought one of their trucks to the community safety event and let residents explore and tour the vehicle. Police officers were also busy grilling hot dogs for hungry participants.
Community safety events like this are great opportunities to help develop stronger bonds between residents and police officers with the hopes of creating safer neighborhoods. Several officers at the event related how effective Stealth’s video monitoring service has been in deterring crime. Sergeant Alex Rosada said Stealth’s assistance has enabled his officers to arrive at the scene of a crime in time to make an arrest. He also said the video evidence Stealth provides to document activities has been invaluable.
The City of Arlington is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Neighborhood Scout gives them a safety index rating of 12 (100 is the safest). There are over 12,500 reported crimes and roughly 2,200 violent crimes reported annually. The Arlington Police Department created a Gang Unit in the early 90s to help combat gang-related crime and provide gang awareness presentations to Arlington residents. In addition, they provide information to help parents and friends identify any new gang affiliations and how to prevent them.
A similar event to this one is being planned in Arlington next month. The hope is to grow this initiative and help communities develop closer bonds with the first responders who serve them.
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