Police encourage businesses to use their services
Feb. 16, 2011 at 7:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2011 at 8:18 p.m.
At the first luncheon of the year, members of Victoria's Chamber of Commerce learned how the Victoria Police Department can help their businesses.
Victoria Police Department Deputy Chief Roy Boyd was the guest speaker and encouraged business owners to utilize the department's Crime Prevention Unit to make the community a better place for business by reducing crime.
"It makes it some place that people want to come and visit, a place that people want to come stay, set up shop and brings in more money to you," he told the crowd.
Boyd said the department has already been successful at reducing crimes that particularly affect local businesses.
For example, burglaries were down 25 percent last year, and car burglaries at businesses on the north side of town have been nearly eliminated during big business rushes, Boyd said.
"Those things are down because we've partnered with the local businesses and we've developed a really, really good Crime Prevention Unit," he said.
Still, when Boyd asked the crowd how many had taken advantage of the unit's services, only a few raised their hands.
"We're not being utilized like we could be," said Sgt. Felix Appelt, who heads the Crime Prevention Unit in the Victoria Mall. "They don't see it as a business opportunity for them to take advantage of our free services."
The unit offers educational classes that can be tailored to a company's specific concerns, like scams or workplace violence. It also offers commercial security surveys and V.I.N. etching on cars, which could qualify companies for insurance discounts.
"You start talking about a fleet of vehicles, and that can add up," Appelt said.
More than a few times Boyd and Appelt reiterated that the services offered by the police department are free ways to minimize risk of loss and better Victoria's business environment as a whole.
"We're your public servants," Boyd said. "You're already paying for it with your tax dollars."
Corrected Feb. 18, 2011