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EAST ALDINE DISTRICT: Community leaders meet on Public Safety issues

Over 75 community members, including homeowners, students, law enforcement officers, educators and community leaders met last Thursday evening, March 24 at the offices of the East Aldine District, for a discussion on public safety and crime enforcement. Above, East Aldine District Executive Director Richard Cantu welcomes the attendees and moderates the introductions and discussion.

By Gilbert Hoffman

The East Aldine community held a district-wide public forum last Thursday evening, March 24 to discuss their concerns about crime rates and efforts to reduce crime incidents by public officials.

Present at the meeting were about 75 persons, including the public, law enforcement officers, and government leaders.

“Too much crime, and not enough police response” is the statement heard over and over at this meeting and throughout the county.

The purpose of the meeting was to share information among the parties about crime incidents, and ongoing and new efforts by law enforcement to deal with and reduce the problem.

After listening to each of the pubic participants give detailed descriptions of the crime problems in their areas, officials responded with details of new efforts to reduce crime.

EAD director Richard Cantu told the group that the District has just voted more money for additional patrols. There will be a new night shift unit, consisting of a Lieutenant, Sergeant, and four deputies available to answer calls and patrol the district. Lt. Mike Santos was introduced as the new supervisor of the night shift. He urged citizens to contact him and report problems. The HCSO phone is 713-221-6000 or 911 if life threatening. He can also be reached at michael.santos@sheriff.hctx.net.

In addition, the district has a staff member, Victor Beserra, who is in charge of public safety matters, and is a former police officer. He regularly interacts between the community and officials on safety matters.

Attendees voiced a litany of crime problems and nuisances, including random gunshots, robberies, vehicle crimes, speeding, drugs in schools and on the streets, gun violence among teens and adults, catalytic converter thefts, homelessness, elderly violence, road rage, porch thefts, noise, extortion, sex trafficking and more.

Lt. Santos explained that successful crime fighting depended very much on cooperation from the community. The old adage “SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING” works, he said. He reminded the public that officers speak Spanish, and he is an Aldine/MacArthur native.

Besides reporting problems, he asked residents to have house numbers visible, and not to leave guns in cars or accessible.

Director Cantu ended the meeting by thanking the large crowd for attending, and noting that “It will take working together” to solve the crime problems.