New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 15, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kroner. Editor Bad Publisher Jim Wcbv«. Managing Editor
Horaid-Zattunp New Braunfels. Texas
Thursday, January IS, 1067
Words into action
Printed below is the complete text of New Braunfels police Chief Burnie Boeck’s Crime Control Plan. which is a compendium of thoughts and philosophies codified into a plan of action for reducing criminal activity and preventing its spread in our community.
Along with fire protection, police protection is, perhaps, the most essential city service we have. It certainly is the most visible and the one with which citizens most often come in contact. The plan is an interesting piece of work and has its basis in citizen involvement and support.
We've said it before and it bears repeating that when New Braunfels becomes a place criminals avoid because our police will catch them, our courts will prosecute them and our state penal system will incarcerate them, we will have less lawlessness. The same is true for any city in any state.
Chief Boeck and our police department deserve this kind of support. Selling support for police can be done, in a manner of speaking, romantically with tales of what it s like to patrol a dark town and risk life and limb entering a building that is supposed to be locked but isn't. Or by describing the criminal element in stereotypic terms and pointing to impressive but often meaningless statistics. An increase of one murder for a total of two in a town that averages one a year makes for bold headlines saying murder is up IOO percent. That sells newspapers and shocks some people.
But as a practical matter, crime will decrease on a more permanent basis when crime fails to pay and the risks are too high. Boeck's report is a practical application of proven concepts. and its merits are as complex as predicting armed robbery and as simple as a gunshot. Read this plan and think seriously about getting involved in the process.
AMP WH6N PIP _ TH6V KNOW ITf
City of New BraunfelsCrime Control Plan
By B.C. BOECK
New Braunfels Chief of Police
‘The first function of government is to protect and safeguard the lives and property of its citizens " Dallas Mayor A Starke Taylor Jr s Criminal Justice Task Force, with Charles Terrell, chairman
A en me-free city is the dream of the citizens of every city The people of New Braunfels share this common hope However, due to many different elements, this ideal society is not possible Nevertheless, the dream of a safe city must not be abandoned for it is a proven fact that certain cnmes are preventable and crime rates can be reduced Community spint. people helping people, and common goals can control certain cnmes iA safer city can become a reality.
A city wishing to embark on a journey to control certain cnmes must have a plan for direction This paper is such The terms • certain crimes” and "identified crimes” are used frequently When used, they refer to the folio* mg cnmes or cnminal activity Armed robbery • burglary < home and business), theft bicycles lawnmowers. etc.), cnminal vandalism, liquor law violations. rape, family violence, illegal drugs (use and sale >. fraud other conditions that may cause citizens to fear crimePreface
The city of Ne* Braunfels has as a motto. 1st Das behen Schoen” It is for the most part a very appropnate statement, for New Braunfels has a natural beauty and uniqueness not found elsewhere This city is neb rn Texas history. the German and Mexican hentage still remain today. There is in the midst of this community a "can do” spirit for which Texas is well known Within the past several years there has been an increase rn population People are living here that come from many parts of the world They have a common thread with the native citizens That common thread is a love of the city itself It is with a desire to tap into this love of the city and the "can do” attitude that this plan is written Although this plan addresses a negative problem. its intent is to remain positive and upbeat Its theme Is a rekindling of the traditional values of neighbors helping neighbors and building an entire community spirit of working together to overcome a common adversary In the late '70s and 60s. New Braunfels experienced an almost overnight increase in population Now there is an economical slowdown This has resulted in transient families and citizens
This trend has an effect that neighbors no longer know their neighbors This, along with the fact that there is an incorrect belief that crime in New Braunfels is the result of our proximity to CUy of San Antonio, has produced an apathetic citixen There is a trend in America today towards being self sufficient; that is, lew reliant on government to be our complete caretaker In several cities throughout America, this self sufficient drone has hero utilised to over come a particular community's apathy towards crime. A public aeraienero has bean
developed in these cities that crime ie bo! only a police department's problem, bot it Ie the entire community's problem?
din Bioral piddle ttaatf. along with the elected officials and the police, have tapped Ma the potential, talent and capabilities of the choana aa a whole and have produced a tronoMkous decrease in certain crimes- With Us dotters becoming hots scarce and crime mf anodng in tarmac, tide fomrwhty
must recognize and employ this successful program It will produce remarkable and economical results
In 1*185. crime in New Braunfels increased an alarming rate of 45 percent The first six months of 1*86 see this rate climbing even more This increase in cnme continues even though there has been a concentrated effort by the police department to control the rise Such programs as Neighborhood Watch. Cnme Stoppers. Operation Identification, Individual Car Programs and a few additional officers have had an effect on the increase Still there is more cnme
In 1*85. 1.646 people were arrested by the New Braunfels police department. Of that total. 6* percent i are residents of New Braunfels Neighbors are burglarizing neighbors Our children are stealing other children s bicycles Employees steal from employers Illegal drugs are being sold and bought by our own fnends. relatives and neighbors Citizens are buying stolen property that ha> been stolen from other citizens
As Pogo noted "we have identified the enemy and it is us This "enemy” cannot be attributed to our proximity to San Antonio It is much more attnbutable to the fact that we no longer know our neighbors and understand that some of their problems are ours. This must be stopped and it can be
Take the trend to be self sufficient, that "can do” attitude and the love of New Braunfels in combination, and recognize the positive force that is available to overcome the rising cnme rates Properly manage this positive force and In New Braunfels Ut Das Leben Schoen becomes more meaningful
Safe City Commission
The city of New Braunfels, through IU elected city officials, should establish a Safe City Commission SCC) The SCC shall be non political and should refrain from being involved in political campaigns
The Mayor should appoint 20 to 76 community leaders«as a blue-ribbon to serve as the SCC These community leaders should be persons who have a proven record of being successful at accomplishing programs that benefit the city as a whole The Mayor should consider appointing persons from various professions and occupations as part of the committee. However, there should be representatives from the follow tng to complete the SCC:
Comal County Medical Society; Chamber of Commerce. Industrial Complex Association Ministerial Alliance; Comal County Bar Association, Director of Crime Stoppers, New Braunfels Board of Realtors; Director of Teen Connection, Building Contractors Association. Director of Women's Shelter; Local Director of Texas Department of Human Resources; New BraunfeU Independent Insurance Association; Superintendent s Office. Comal and New Braunfels Independent School District; Comal County Adult/Juvenile Probation Office.
The police chief will serve as a bason officer s hahs STO the SOC end the police department The appointed members shall serve a two-year term. Said appointed members may, at the Mayor's pleasure, serve again The SCC shall have the reapon-sibility and authority to rofahltsh nitro and guidelines for the removal of any mombor. including the Executive Director.
The first order of huslneee for the SCC ie to appoint an Executive Director. The (Int Executive Director shall serve without compan-sation. However, the SOC hee the authority and responsibility to raise funds and to mao! the ejectives and needs af thtar pragma.
The SOC, acting In quorum, may etaaUtah a proper salary for the Director
aod any a*—*** necessary tar the success of
the entire program
The Executive Director serves at the pleasure of the SCC The SCC shall be responsible for the proper auditing of any funds.
It is suggested that the SCC look towards our retirement community for an experienced person to serve as the first Executive Director
The broad objective of the SCC is to unite the citizens of New Braunfels, their elected officials and police department rn a coordinated program designed to reduce and control certain identified cnmes
The mission of the SCC is a safer city through a reduction of certain crimesGoals of flit SCC
1 To identify specific criminal activity problems and seek a viable solution to such
2 To establish city wide goals and programs to reduce and minimize crime
3 To establish a city wide network of information and education about cnme prevention programs and community goals
4 To seek the cooperation of local and aute elected officials in the fight against identified crimes
5 To open lines of communication and cooperation with all citizens by creating neighborhood zone committees throughout the city
6. To create a city wide emphasis of being proud to participate in the city of New Braunfels efforts to make the city a safer place to live and visit.
7. To keep all activities of this program free from political campaigns and issues.Neighborhood Com mi ti ops
The SCC should divide the city into several neighborhood zones *. Those zones may be established by using existing neighborhoods, business districts, geographical attributes, precinct lines or by other means The number of zones is at the discretion of the SCC
Members of the SCC shall seek and appoint neighbors who reside or have a business in the dffcigpift^d zones. These individuals will serve on sn ad hoc committee for each established zone The SCC, working with the committee members, shall select at a minimum a chairperson and secretary to serve on each individual committee Each committee will be known as Neighbors Against Crime Committees (NACO and act as an advisory board to the SCC. The NACO should have ae Ism than nine aer no more than IS monition and should have legman tattoos from the following:
Am Buslnros/Industry; Mtatataro Prom Atm Churches, Admtafetrattoa/Teether* el Am Schools; President! of Aion Homo Ownors Association; Block Captains of Noitafcorhood Watch; Atm Community I to dors; Owaars/Managors af Apart
ment. Condominium Complexes; Members of Area Parent-Teacher Association; Ex Officio Members-New Braunfels Police Department Crime Prevention Officer and District Patrol Officers.
The words “neighbors’’ and * neighborhoods” are used frequently In this section When used, they refer to all individuals in a designated zone; home owners, businesses, professional and indust mate people, church and school officials.
The broad objective of NACC is to provide the citizens within a designated area with a
grass roots” committee that identifies and seeks solutions to crime related problems within their area.
The mission of NACC is a safer neighborhood through the control of criminal activity.
1 Maintain committee of local neighbors that conduct regular meetings.
2 Hear from area citizens at such meetings in order to identify crime problems for the particular area
3. Formulate recommendations for the reduction of the identified crime problems.
4 Report to the SCC thoro identified criminal activity problems and recommendations
5 Assist the SCC in informing and educating citizens in their respective zones about crime prevention programs and community goals
6 Establish goals and programs to reduce cnme in their respective zones
The NACC will conduct regular meetings in their neighborhood. The purpose of such meetings is to allow the local people to discuss and identify the specific criminal activities that are a problem to their neighborhood.
Solutions and ideas on how to address the problems are also a part of the regular meetings. Programs to educate and encourage the area citizens to join In the reduction of crime should also be a top priority of the NACC
The various NACCs will report back to the SCC their individual programs and recommendations This will give the SCC • basic foundation on how to meet their goals and objective. as the SCC has the responsibility to implement, coordinate and maintain this entire project.Summary
Although the police are mandated? to control crime, they cannot do so without substantial community involvement and support, (or the police are also expected to and do a myriad of services that delete from their effectiveness of controlling crimes National statistics show that as much as ta percent of a police officer’s time is spent on non-crime related activities. In the pro! IS months, New Braunfels police have answered 23,317 cells for police services but only IS percent of thoro calls resulted in an need for tho officer to file a written criminal offense report
The inherent need for city police to provide a multitude of services is the result of citizen's demands and needs.
At this writing, the downturn ta the overall economy of the state of Texas is having Us effects on the local level. In programing budget discussion, there is eat only talk el aet employing mort poiico vffffw but tho possibility of nithafki la police orovtoro* rut! sr Si ars vary possible. This compounds the crime problem ae cells for pollco services are inc roesing.
possibilities. It Is a proactive approach to reduce crime. It is much less expenrtve then a reactive tapproftch. The network af achoote.
churches, businesses and industry working together to educate and encourage their people to participate in the crime prevention goals can create a safer city • a model city!
Some excellent examples are presently found in the collaborative activities known as Neighborhood Watch. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Court Watch. These are laudable examples of citizen involvement in projects to achieve a more stable society, or if you will, a safe city.
Allow your imagination a little freedom. You leave for work with no fear that your home will fall prey to a burglary. Your younger child rides a bicycle to Landa Park with no fear that the bicycle will be stolen. Your older child attends a teen-age party with no fear of being exposed to or being encouraged to use drugs or alcohol. Your elderly parents are free from excessive (ear of being victims because crime rates are low in this community. Your neighborhood belongs to you and your neighbors, not to theivro and illegal narcotics dealers Your community has a civic pride that can be seen and felt.
Utopia? Perhaps A worthy goal to work towards? Absolutely!*
Crime, Its cause and solution, Is a very complex problem)*. This plan la not a "quick fix” to a complicated Issue. The doomsayers will undoubtedly find the shortcomings. However, the principles, objectives and goals are very sound and rely upon proven program*!! Some areas must remain flexible through implementation. The concept of the public, elected officials and police working In unity on a directed course has never been more necessary In New Braunfels than at the present time.
' Preventives of evil are tar better than remedies: Cheaper and easier of applicetion. and surer in result ’ -Tryon Edwards
1. Donald D. Pomerieau. "Crime Prevention and the Community”, in Local Government Police Management, tad edition. (Washington. DC.: International City Management Association. 1062), p. 107
2. Ibid. p. 107.
3. Although the New Braunfels police department records are in the process of being computerized, separation of felon arrest from misdemeanor Is not readily available at this writing The figure ta percent represents arrest of adults only. and it Includes arrest for all typos of offenses (i e. traffic, public disorder, and major crimes). It is shown here to emphasize that much of the police problem is the result of local
4. Mark White. "The Eyes of Texans. A Comprehensive Crime Prevention Strategy", published April. IOU. p. 27.
0. Ibid, p. SM. "Crime Prevention and the Community".
6. Richard R. Bennett and Sandra Baxter. "Community Anti-Crime Programs" In Police Management Today, issues and Cam Studies, (Washington, DC.: International Qty ManageoMat Association, Itta),p. IM.
7. Ibid. p. ta. The Eyes of Texans.
6. Egon Bittner. "Emerging Police Irones" ta Local Government Police Management. md Emma, (Wallington, DC : International City Manager Association, Itta), p. I.
t. Victoria, Texas, has already begun their program (Juno. ital). It bogan with a largo banquet with all appropriate Individuals present and Broch city-wido publicity. ta. Ibid, p, in. “Community Aati-Crtnro
ll. Aerotow road* Is directed to the complete artteins of "Crime Prevention and tat Community". "Community AafiOtoro Pita tao—" and The Eyes et Texans. AU them