Tyler Police Department, Consulate of Mexico partner for inaugural community outreach program

Published on Friday, 3 November 2017 19:34 - Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL, lcampbell@tylerpaper.com  

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Tyler Police Department Community Response Officer Ken Caudle and Public Safety Officer Louis Melendez went door-to-door Friday on Summit Avenue.

The officers weren't looking for a suspect or serving a warrant. Instead, they were shaking hands and meeting the people in the neighborhood. They knocked on Leonel Saravia's front door and introduced themselves. 

Saravia has lived in the neighborhood near Tyler Steel for about eight years. The officers were invited inside for about 30 minutes. 

"It's great because I feel like someone is taking care of us," Saravia said. "This is the first time I've seen this and I like it and think it's good for the neighborhood." 

Officer Caudle said Saravia had some concerns. He expressed a fear of letting his children play outside because of living close to an area where strangers from the nearby homeless camp walk in or close to his yard. 

"It's good to be out here talking to the people who live here," Caudle said. "It's good to know that some of the rumors and things we hear about can be confirmed by the people who live here." 

The Tyler Police Department partnered with a representative from the Consulate of Mexico's office in Dallas for their inaugural community outreach program. 

Twelve members of the police department and Guido Arochi, consult for mobile services, split up into teams and passed out flyers and a list of support agencies and area resources.

"The goal of the program is to build relations and partnerships in the community," Sgt. Matt Leigeber said. "With the current political environment and concerns with the police and government, this is a good way to just talk to people and see if there are any problems."

Arochi teamed up with patrol officer April Molina to walk around the neighborhood. He said many Spanish-speaking residents may think something like this is an immigration roundup.

Arochi brought flyers and pamphlets that through images and text communicated what residents should do when they are talking to the police and who they can call for assistance in Tyler and at the Consulate of Mexico. 

"Many people see and hear the news from Dallas and San Antonio," Arochi said. "We want to make sure that people in Tyler have current local information on what to do and how to find resources if they need help."

Molina said she was a bit surprised by the positive reactions of the residents. 

"I grew up in north Tyler," she said. "Everyone has been very welcoming and happy to talk to us." 

Leigeber said he hopes this event will provide some helpful information for future events.  

"We're going to meet afterwards to see what went well and what we can do better," he said. "This is where we can improve and learn what else we can do to focus on the residents." 

 

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