Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lewisville Citizen Police Academy

In 2001 my husband and I moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Lewisville, Texas, even though he had sworn that he would NEVER live in North Texas. But since I am a native Texan, and the wife - I won the war! When looking for a new home. We had a few priorities – a one story, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage in a nice neighborhood. We settled on Lewisville. We bought a nice home on a cul-de-sac near Memorial Park.
We found the neighbors to be nice and friendly. 4th of July parties, new friends (Even Fire Chief Lasky lived next door). Life was good! We had made a good choice! Lewisville, Texas was home.
Eight years later I decided to participate in the Lewisville Citizen Police Academy, as my husband had the year before. During the class, my rose colored glasses were shattered.

These are a few of the details I learned about my city.
► In 2008 over 5,000 people were arrested for various offenses.

►There are actual prostitution houses in upscale neighborhoods, along with a few “crack” houses in the less prestigious part of our city, demonstrating that crime knows no boundaries.

► Not every one wants police protection, even the woman who has been beaten on many occasions by her husband or boyfriend and refuses to press charges.

►There are more than 55 sex offender in the 42 square miles that Lewisville encompasses.

► We are home to 6 gangs with the youngest gang member being only 12 years old.

My question to the class was, “Who would have known that this small city would have these challenges?”

And then “Why don’t we the citizens know about these issues?”

The answer I received was politics versus reality. It’s the Chamber of Commerce syndrome. Chambers are comprised of businesses whose goal it is to further the interest of businesses within the community.
So why would the city publicize the challenges that are not only a part of Lewisville, but every city.

So how does a city like Lewisville confront it’s reality?
By using these avenues:

Community Programs like the Neighborhood Watch Program, Law Enforcement Exploring Program for youth and the School Resource Officer Program.
Informing our citizens using the city’s website with eAlert subscriptions, Chief Kerbow’s weekly update and ability to know where in the city Sex Offenders reside
AND Educating our citizens through . . . the very class we just completed.

I want to let you know that we are a very fortunate city. We have a very dedicated group of people who take these challenges personally . . . 24 hours a day . . . 365 days a year.
They are the hardworking, distinguished men and women of the Lewisville Police Department.
With the guidance of Chief Kerbow, we have officers like SWAT Commander Lt. Kendall Lynn, Detective Robert Feagins, K-9 Officer Shane Menz (my favorite)

And our class’s mentor, the legendary Training Officer Scott Pedigo: Along with many others in the Lewisville Police Department who spend more than their fair share of time, effort and energy to balance politics and reality making Lewisville, Texas a city where everyone would want to live.

I learned a tremendous amount about our city and our outstanding Police Department. It is my personal mission and I hope it is yours also, to recommend this class to all Lewisville citizens every chance we get. And to warn them of Officer Pedigo, the consummate class clown!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Operation Write Home

Looking on the right side of my blog is a link to Operation Write Home. . .so why is it there?
After picking up a flyer at a scrapbook convention this summer in Austin, TX and knowing that our team at JCPenney was looking for volunteer projects, I put the two together and approached our volunteer committee with the idea. Last Thursday, December 3rd, at our monthly department, we put together 120 Valentine's cards. The cards will be sent to our troops, so they can send a card to their loved ones back home. Hallmark hasn't expanded their operations to the Middle East!

If you are a scrapbooker you too can make a small difference in the lives of our troops. Click on the link and get started!

Oh, I almost forgot - Any Hero Cards - there is also an opportunity to send cards to "Any Hero". This explains it best...News from the homefront—even from strangers—is a treasure to those far from home. "Hero Mail is great," says one Chaplain. "I go out and pray with the soldiers before missions and I hand out Hero Mail." Letters are distributed to those who rarely get mail, or to those most in need of encouragement the day the box arrives. "It helps to know that we are remembered!"