Out with the bad, in with the new for Bee Cave police
Friday, September 14, 2012 | | 13
Russell R. “Rusty” Pancoast
Bee Cave Police Chief
Bee Cave Beat
Things are changing in Bee Cave.
That statement should come as no surprise to anyone who visits, or even just passes through our town. There is still a lot of construction going on in both our retail and residential areas. Additionally, there is a lot of growth to our west, which results in more shopping in and visitation to our little town. Some of the change accompanying this growth is good, but some is, regrettably, not so good.
Let’s talk first about some of those not-so-good things. As our population grows, and the number of visitors grows, so grows our crime. That growth in crime is generally in two areas.
The first area is that of property crime. These crimes include shoplifting, other theft, burglary of homes and businesses, burglary of motor vehicles, auto thefts, credit card fraud and money changing schemes.
Some examples of the more serious property crimes include a business burglary wherein several high power assault rifles were stolen; a residential burglary in which the victim literally lost everything, in that if it wasn’t stolen, it was totally destroyed; and credit card abuse cases in which the bad guys were hacking into retailers’ computers and stealing customer credit card information and then using that information to make and use fake credit cards.
The more serious violent crimes include an aggravated sexual assault that occurred in a business parking lot, an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that came out of a domestic dispute and made me realize that I really do not like butcher knives and an extortion attempt that included a threatened kidnapping.
Finally, we have had several homicides; yes, I said homicides, because suicides are classified at homicides, and sadly, we have had several suicides and several more attempted suicides during this past year.
Now, the good things. We have cultivated good relationships with a lot of other agencies over the years, and those relationships are proving to be of great value. On some of the cases, we have been working recently, we were able to receive valuable assistance from other agencies, including the FBI, ATF, DEA, Secret Service, Texas Rangers and many other local agencies.
Additionally, we have made some staffing changes in our Criminal Investigations Division, and there is a concerted effort under way to reduce the backlog of open cases. CID is also now operating under the policy that every lead is followed to its end, even if the lead does not initially appear to be very promising.
Finally, the Bee Cave Police Department has some new faces.
As I mentioned in earlier columns, we have had some significant turnover among the ranks of our patrol officers. As a result, we have five new officers with varying levels of experience, but all of whom are more fit and have some level of college education. Let me introduce them to you.
First, we have Officer Carl Neal who is a 2011 graduate of the University of Houston Police Academy.
Neal also attended college at Texas Southern University as well as Dallas Christian College. He also holds the distinction of holding the fastest time on the physical agility run that is required of all applicants. He completed the mile and a half run in 9 minutes, 56 seconds after stopping to tie his shoes.
Second, we have Officer Alice Hodgkins who came to us from the Austin Community College Campus Police Department.
Hodgkins is a 2010 graduate of the San Angelo Police Academy and also attended Folsom Lake College as well as the University of Phoenix. She has received specialized training in victims’ services which has already been very useful to the police department in several cases.
Third, we have Officer Mario Cmet who came to us after a 23-year career in law enforcement and whose last department was the Southlake Department of Public Safety.
Cmet originally attended the police academy in Georgia and later took the Texas licensing exam to become licensed in Texas as a peace officer. He also attended Tarrant County College. He holds a master peace officer license and is an advanced traffic accident investigator and police instructor.
Next is Officer Joshua McCann who is a 2010 graduate of the Cedar Valley Police Academy and a combat veteran serving six years in the U.S. Army.
McCann was deployed for 18 months with his unit to Iraq in support of direct military operations. He also attended college at Dallas County Community College and worked for Dallas Independent School District Police Department for almost two years before coming to “The Hive.”
Our final hire was Officer Greg Evans who is a 2011 graduate of the South Plains Police Academy and attended South Plains College.
Evans worked at the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department, Corrections Division, where he was assigned to their specialized unit DRT- Detention Response Team. Most recently, he worked at the Brady Police Department where he started a fitness program for the officers.
Until next time, Bee Safe.
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