Just wanted to touch on the most important aspects from Tuesday's Commander's Forum:

There were about 15 residents who braved the cold, and nearly 20 APD employees in attendance. Five of us were from Allandale, so that was a good showing. The information APD most wanted us to learn about was the reorganization.

APD used to be divided into 3 areas, and this January they switched to a 4 Regions system, hopefully to better serve Austin.

Allandale is in Region 1, which is served by 190 patrol officers. Within Region 1 there are 3 Sectors (Downtown/George, Baker and IDA), and Allandale is split between Baker 3 and IDA 4. The Region 1 Support Commander is John Romoser and Patrol Commander is Marcy Gonzales, so our commanders haven't changed. Lt. Srg. Troy Officer oversees the DRs and detectives as well.

South of 2222 is Baker 3, served by District Representative (DR) Officer Rolando Gutierrez, Rolando.gutierrez [Email address: Rolando.gutierrez #AT# ci.austin.tx.us - replace #AT# with @ ], 974-5998

North of 2222 is IDA 4, served by DR Officer Gary Griffin, Gary.griffin [Email address: Gary.griffin #AT# ci.austin.tx.us - replace #AT# with @ ], 974-8392

The DR position was created to do prevention such as VIN etchings and home safety audits. 
The commanders spoke of a reduction in crime in December and showed stats, but what caught my attention was the contingency from University Hills and Windsor Park who pointed out that there had been 50 home break-ins in their neighborhood from the end of December to the middle of January! We really need to count our blessings in Allandale. Commander Romoser explained that APD started an initiative January 18th in which juveniles on the street during school hours were returned to schools, and there has been a 76% reduction in break-ins. They have made 18 arrests since 1/18, and 75% of them were juveniles.

We were reminded to call in all juveniles during school hours, get license numbers of suspicious cars, write down serial numbers of all of our property, take pictures, and to be aware that we are in our neighborhood much more than the police and see more of what is going on.

A technique still being used is perpetrators wearing orange reflective vests and working in groups. Someone comes to the front and if no one is home others go to the back and burglarize the house quickly.
No one was present from the Hyde Park neighborhood , but APD let us know they are working very hard on the tire slasher case.

Next Commander's Forum June 7, 2011

Thanks,Laura DiCarlo
Allandale Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
lhdicarlo [Email address: lhdicarlo #AT# yahoo.com - replace #AT# with @ ]