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Police and Keep Victoria Beautiful team up to clean up

By KBell
Jan. 12, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2011 at 7:12 p.m.

IF YOU GONeighborhood Watch Meeting

WHAT: Talk with Crime Prevention officers about what they can do in your neighborhood and explore the Neighborhood Watch program

WHO: High School Terrace/Red River Heights neighborhood

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Family Worship Center, 501 Sam Houston Drive

CONTACT:To start a Neighborhood Watch program or for more information, call the Crime Prevention Unit at 361-485-3808

IF YOU GOOperation Clean Sweep

WHAT: A sweep of the neighborhood to remove unwanted items from peoples' homes and yards

WHO: Anyone can volunteer to help at the High School Terrace/Red River Heights neighborhood; residents can set items on curb for pick-up or look out for volunteers to help remove items

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Volunteers meet at 2908 Catalpa St.

CONTACT:All ages can volunteer with Keep Victoria Beautiful by going to www.keepvictoria and watching a safety video, signing a waiver and registering. You can also call 361-571-0582.

The Victoria Police Department and Keep Victoria Beautiful are cleaning up neighborhoods in more ways than one.

"They do the cleaning part, and we build a neighborhood watch," said Sgt. Felix Appelt, with the police's Crime Prevention Unit. "If it's a clean neighborhood, criminals don't like to come to those areas."

The two organizations are teaming up their Neighborhood Watch and Operation Clean Sweep programs and targeting the High School Terrace/Red River Heights neighborhood.

As part of the Clean Sweep operation, volunteers will walk the neighborhood and help residents get rid of unwanted items in their homes or yards.

"Some individuals are unable to remove heavy items such as sofas and other things, so we're going to help them get that out," said Thomas Yantis, executive director of Keep Victoria Beautiful. "This is just a pass-through to get rid of all unwanted waste and to make it a more beautiful area to call home."

Appelt said the partnership with Keep Victoria Beautiful fits right in with the his unit's mission. He said crime prevention is more than just teaching people to spot and report criminals in their neighborhoods.

"It's, 'Hey, trim your trees so you can see if someone's hiding.' We teach the community what to do in situations like that."

Yantis agreed that the two organization's objectives go hand-in-hand.

"When people are happier in their homes, it's proven that there's lower crime and a higher quality or standard of living," he said..



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