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Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies will continue for today. Expect a warm afternoon with highs peaking in the lower 70's. Partly cloudy to mostly clear skies return for tonight with lows beginning around the mid 50's tomorrow morning. Mostly sunny and breezy for Wednesday. Highs will only reach the low and mid 60's. A brief shot of ...
BPD Chief says community relations a priority
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
Police Chief Jimmy Singletary hopes to bring the community and the police department closer together. Chief Singletary spoke at a Beaumont Rotary Club meeting, and said community relations is a top priority.
"We had some bad things happen to us, just like they do in all departments from time to time," said Singletary, speaking of the Beaumont Police Department before he took office, "and [officers] kind of withdrew from the public, didn't want to talk to the public as much. But man, we got a lot of young cops now. Thirty-eight people have been hired since I got here, and boy they're on board."
On board with the Chief's vision of officers and community members having a stronger relationship. Neighborhood Associations work to achieve this goal. Members act as the police's eyes and ears. They report suspicious activity, and meet with police once a month.
One neighborhood association commissioner would like the police to put more effort into community relations. The following are the opinions of only one of the neighborhood association groups in Beaumont. The Chief says there are 16 - 17 neighborhood associations, and a new group is forming about every other week.
Dana Ramoran formed the Western Hills Neighborhood Association three months ago. She has lived there for 14 years, and said the neighborhood is getting out of hand. Ramoran no longer lets her kids cross the street to go to their grandmother's house because so many drivers speed down the street.
"I mean they've hit dogs, cats," said Ramoran. "Once [somebody] hit a cat and we stood out here and screamed at the person to stop because the poor baby was rumbling under the car, and it's like, okay, what happens when that's a kid?"
Her neighbor, Geoffrey Wiggins, said he was happy to join the association.
"There's so much going on around here, illegal activity, noise," said Wiggins. "I mean, I just had it, was so frustrated, and I was just overjoyed that something like this was going to happen."
Ramoran and Wiggins pointed down the street where they said drug trafficking takes place. Both say they call the police to report suspicious behavior.
Ramoran said the Western Hills Neighborhood Association's relationship with the Beaumont Police Department is a work in progress.
"Some officers that come out, we feel like we can connect and they're responsive, and they help us out with some issues," said Ramoran. "And, of course, there are some that come out that I feel like we are almost a nuisance because I'm constantly calling."
Chief Singletary said the police department is still working on community relations.
"We have a great group of cops and they're trying really hard and they're showing the community that they care," said Chief Singletary, "and even they see that the community is more responsive, more receptive to them."
He said there are more neighborhood associations now than ever before.
"Here lately, we've had one open every two to three weeks, a new one," said Singletary. "So it makes us feel good that the citizens care as much about their community as we do. And as long as they're there and want us, we're going to be there."
Ramoran wishes the police could stop more crime in her neighborhood.
"Sometimes when an officer talks to them, and they get away with it, it's almost like they're laughing in our face," said Ramoran. "But we're not going to stop. We're going to keep doing what we're supposed to do to clean up this neighborhood."