Recently, we at the Aransas Pass Police Department started focusing our patrol efforts in our neighborhoods and at some of our businesses. These efforts are primarily meant to assist on cutting down on property crimes by targeting those miscreants out-and-about at night. Further, we sought to locate vulnerabilities within these locations before the evil-doers did and notify potential victims before it was too late. At that same time, we also began focusing on addressing many traffic infractions as well. Though service was on the forefront of our efforts, we seem to have struggled with some challenges from a mix up in communication.
As some of you may know, patrol responded very rapidly and efficiently with the issuance of several citations, mostly for parking infractions. Though I am happy with the rapid response from my staff, I am not happy with the message or manner in which our response has adversely affected some within our community. Our mission is to provide the highest level of police service available while sustaining compassion, commitment, and integrity.
As many have experienced over the past year-and-a-half, there have been many positive, needed changes with the police department. These changes have been for the betterment of all those who live, work and play within Aransas Pass, Texas. Further, we have established vital community partnerships with members throughout our community and those partnerships have helped strengthen the level of service we are capable of providing today. Those changes did not come without ups and down, trials and errors. Though I myself have worked hard turning the direction of this ship, my staff has endured even far more struggles at getting away from what once was to what now is and that which will soon be. Each and every day we continue to improve and work harder at achieving an even newer, higher level of professional police service for our community.
I’ve heard some’s concerns about the recent strict enforcement of parking violations; and on the same token, I’ve also heard your complaints on the lack thereof. Though I would’ve like to have notified our community beforehand of recent traffic enforcement, it was not exactly the agenda we were seeking in the first place. Our agenda as it pertains to traffic enforcement was and remains today to respond appropriately to the traffic concerns submitted or those commonly/regularly observed and dealt with by officers. Further, we’re seeking new and improved ways at concentrating patrols in our neighborhoods to keep you and your property safe at night and at times when you’re most vulnerable. Many within my staff have been able to do so at night by patrolling the neighborhoods in various manners. One way, has been to bring back foot patrols randomly at night and in various neighborhoods. In fact, just this past evening one of my officers reported locating three open garage doors between midnight and the early morning hours. Those open garages provide valuable resources sought by would-be thieves.
I want to assure our community that we have adjusted or rather fine-tuned our efforts and these new agendas. Our mission is to provide the highest level of policing to our community through excellence in service to and education for all members of our community. We sincerely believe in and depend on our community partnerships. After all, the safety and well-being of all those who live, work and play in Aransas Pass is directly tied to the effectiveness of strong community partnerships. We are here to SERVE our community, not RULE over our community.
In the coming weeks, we will continue in our efforts to provide random foot patrols in the neighborhoods. While doing so, we will be checking to see that people have secured their property be it a vehicle or residence. We may notify residents immediately when we find a situation that would put one at risk.
Further, we will continue parking and other traffic related enforcement. However we will do so somewhat differently so that enforcement can remain effective but also reasonable in application. Some of the violations we will be dealing with include:
- Vehicles parked in Handicap parking spaces (citations will be issued),
- Vehicles parked blocking a fire hydrant (citations will be issued),
- Vehicles parked on or blocking sidewalks (citations will be issued),
- Vehicles parked over 18 inches from the curb when there’s a likelihood the vehicle could obstruct responding emergency traffic (warnings likely, citations possible),
- Vehicles parked facing traffic (warnings to be issued, citation thereafter if not corrected)
In addition to these parking violations, patrol has been instructed to focus on the following moving/city ordinance violations. These violations are the subject of complaints from members within the community:
- Use of cell phone while operating a motor vehicle (citations issued),
- Heavy trucks using city streets when not the most direct route for delivery or pickup (citations issued),
- Excessively loud vehicles (due to modifications) or vehicles playing loud music (citations issued),
- Littering from vehicle or bed of truck (citations issued).
My office-door is always open, and I invite you to stop on in and visit or call me should you have any questions or further concerns. If I am not readily available, my staff know to carve out some time in my busy schedule to ensure that no one gets turned away.
Eric Blanchard, Chief of Police