The neighborhood is the basic building block of human society and successful efforts to make Texarkana a better place often start there.
Although often overlooked, the neighborhood is a powerful tool for social improvement. A decrepit environment of economic decline, traffic and social alienation fosters an attitude of criminal behavior. By addressing areas of social and environmental decline, the police department hopes to build even stronger relationships with the citizens and develop practical methods of fighting crime. The idea is that communities are safer when neighbors get to know one another and work together on solving problems.
The Special Operations Section of the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department will be taking the lead in implementing the One Block at a Time concept by encouraging citizens to help city departments such as the police, public works (code enforcement) and street department with cleaning up their neighborhoods. This method is similar to the National Night Out concept with intentions to combat crime by removing the element where crime establishes itself. This is done by strengthening relationships between the neighborhood residents and police. Crime trends can be effectively addressed at the neighborhood level and people are more likely to get involved on issues that affect their own backyard when they can see the effects of their actions.
The Special Operations Section, in conjunction with the Texarkana Arkansas Police Departments Patrol Division, and The City of Texarkana Arkansas Code Enforcement will be concentrating on specific areas of town and neighborhoods in an attempt to locate dilapidated structures, vehicles, residences with accumulated debris and overgrown areas, both private and commercial. Police Officers will also address substandard city owned traffic control devices, street and security lights and deteriorated roads. The Texarkana Police Department will saturate these areas with a zero tolerance attitude toward city ordinance and code violations as well as state statute and traffic violations. The code violations will be reported to the Code Enforcement Department of The City of Texarkana Public Works.
By implementing a more proactive approach, the Special Operations Section has selected specific One Block at a Time areas based on citizen requests, crime trends and obvious code enforcement violations. This saturation may remain in a specific area from one to four weeks and will usually encompass approximately ten square blocks. Once the violations have been addressed in a particular area, a new One Block at a Time area will be established.
The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department will be initiating the One Block at a Time concept in the area of E. 9th St. to E. 18th St. and from N. State Line to Jefferson on December 26th. This saturation will continue for several weeks. We ask that residents in this area cooperate with city officials by honoring our requests to clean your yard, remove any non running vehicles, debris such as old appliances, overgrown and dead weeds, bushes and trees. Failure to comply may result in enforcement action. We are all responsible for our property and we all have a responsibility to help others with theirs.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer