‘Knocks and Talks’: Local officers meet with residents at home

HARLINGEN — Sometimes when a cop knocks on your door, they just want to talk.

The Harlingen Police Department participated in the first “Knock and Talks” this past weekend and will continue the effort Thursday.

Officers went from home to home listening to the concerns from members of the community to better understand their needs and expectations.

Officers handed out pamphlets with important contact numbers and general safety tips with information on how to contact help lines.

Along with pamphlets, residents were asked questions on what the police department and city could do to improve the quality of life.

Sergeant Larry Moore said the interaction between the community and the officers has made it easier for them to do their job.

“We get to concentrate on their needs and help them feel safer,” Moore said.

The department met with residents living in District One and District Two on Saturday and Sunday.

Moore estimates police officers knocked on more than 400 doors during those two days.

“We had a lot of really good feedback,” Moore said.

“They seemed to really like seeing us getting out there and listening to the public.”

Moore said residents concerns and comments ranged from wanting to see more patrol officers on the road to fixing street lights in the area.

Commander John Parrish said most of the residents were not shy communicating their needs.

“We want positive and negative feedback to help us improve how we do our jobs,” Parrish said.

City commissioners Tudor Uhlhorn and Richard Uribe also joined the officers over the weekend to meet with the residents in their districts.

Michael Mezmar from District Three will join the officers on Thursday.

“It’s a unique opportunity to listen to the people,” Mezmar said.

Mezmar said Chief Jeff Adickes reached out to city officials to participate in the initiative.

Officers will head out to meet with districts three, four and five starting Thursday.

General Safety Tips

* Know your neighbors

* Report crime and suspicious activities to your local police

* Start or strengthen a neighborhood watch group

* Find out if your neighborhood has community policing and get to know your officers assigned to your community

What people said:

* Need for more patrol cars in their area

* Fix broken street lights in dark areas