Helping Authorities Police Your Neighborhood

Folks in East Texas depend on police officers to protect and serve their communities, recently Lufkin police have put in overtime to rid Brandon Park of crime, but it's costing the city thousands of dollars every week and causing scheduling problems. "The overtime cost money that's obviously not budgeted and the community police officers that have been assigned here have been pulled off of other projects they need to resume and the shift officers are basically at the mercy of the calls if they get a call of an emergency on another street they have to go," says Lt. Harold Cottle.

In the coming weeks the officers will resume their regular duties and some policing will be left to folks in the community. "It is going to take a combination of our enforcement efforts and community activities from the people who live here to basically take over the park and use it for it's designed to be used for," says Cottle.

Authorities in East Texas believe neighborhood crime watch programs help. Some neighborhoods in East Texas don't have an organized crime watch, but authorities say there are several things you can do on the inside of your home to fight crime on the outside. Police suggests you keep a pen and paper handy to write down detailed descriptions, a telephone to call authorities and a still or video camera to record or snap a picture of suspicious activity.

Though community policing is encouraged, authorities warn against getting physically involved. "We don't encourage anyone to approach these people and try to make a citizens arrest.  Sometimes it can be very dangerous. We recommend calling the police," says Lt. David Young.