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Victoria crime prevention unit takes home awards for outstanding service

By Bianca Montes
July 16, 2014 at 2:16 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2014 at 2:17 a.m.

Victoria Police officers John Turner, left, and Sgt. Chris Guerra accept awards at the 2014 Texas Crime Prevention Association for Outstanding Crime Prevention Specialist and Outstanding Crime Prevention Agency. The awards, they said, are a demonstration of the out-of-the-box work they've done with the department.

Crime Prevention

• WHAT: Active Crime Prevention class

• WHEN: Wednesday

• WHERE: Community Room, Victoria Mall, 7800 N. Navarro St.

• INFO: Call 361-485-3808.

Victoria police officer John Turner and the department's crime prevention unit recently won awards for outstanding achievements in crime prevention.

The awards were delivered during a training conference in College Station, which was hosted by the Texas Crime Prevention Association.

Turner received the 2014 award for Outstanding Crime Prevention Specialist in the small agency category. The Victoria Police Crime Prevention Unit also received an award for Outstanding Crime Prevention Agency for making substantial contributions to its community.

"These awards reaffirm our department's commitment to crime prevention and our service to the citizens of Victoria," Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig said. "I am proud of the Crime Prevention Unit and their accomplishments."

Sgt. Chris Guerra, a department spokesman and crime prevention officer, said it's a great honor for he and Turner to be recognized for the work they do because he believes they are stepping outside the box with crime prevention.

"What really sets us apart is we have leadership that allows us to push the envelope," Guerra said.

In previous years, the department has taken home the Horizon Award for being the newest, most innovative unit, above and beyond awards and Outstanding Crime Prevention Agency in 2011. In 2010, Guerra received the outstanding specialist award.

Guerra said the crime prevention department was "run of the mill" when he joined it, and he basically had to start from scratch to create a fresh program. The department offers a wide variety of proactive programs to help educate the community on crime prevention. Programs such as the Civilian Police Academy and National Night Out were largely successful last year, which Guerra said were the reasons Turner and the department were selected as recipients for the awards.

Last year, 42 neighborhoods hosted block parties in Victoria for National Night Out.

Turner said he has plans to outdo last year's success and "blow it out of the water."

"Just keep an eye on us," he smiled.

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