Garcia Touts Technology, Personal Safety
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is reaching out to the public for help in reducing crime and keeping neighborhoods and schools safe. "Help us make Harris County a place to live, raise a family, start a business, and make it the safest county in America," he tells KTRH. That is the goal behind the semi-regular public town hall meetings the Sheriff is hosting. The most recent was held this week at the Lone Star College-CyFair campus. "It helps us make sure we have a good finger on the pulse of the community, it helps us sharpen our strategies, and make sure we're always paying attention to what the (public's) concerns are," says Garcia.
The biggest concern for the public when it comes to the Sheriff's Office is safety and crime prevention. The sheriff says the crime rate in Harris County is flat so far in 2013, compared to last year. One of the big things he is touting at town hall meetings and in public messaging campaigns is the Iwatch Harris County app. "We want people to know they have a free mobile phone app where they can text into us anonymous tips about suspicious activity, crimes that have occurred," says Garcia. "They can send us photos, videos about anything that is occurring, and this app has been extremely successful."
The app is just one aspect of the community cooperation Garcia is seeking. He also uses these town halls to encourage people to take responsibility for increasing their own safety. "Things you can do at home, like keeping your garage door down, your lights on, cutting shrubbery away from doorways or windows," he says. Other recommendations by the sheriff include parking in well-lit places, locking your car, and keeping valuable items out of the visibility of potential criminals. Garcia says these common-sense "personal safety" tips help reduce crime and make law enforcement's job easier by reducing petty property crimes.
Download the "Iwatch Harris County" app here.