District police reach out to the community to encourage safety and prevention.
By Kyle R. Cotton
Amid recent crime reports, students discussing some of their bad experiences at Tobin Lofts and a neighborhood hostage situation the morning of Oct. 6; the Alamo College police department hosted its first National Night Out event.
The event, for the college and Tobin Lofts community, was on West Evergreen Street between North Main Avenue and Howard Street.
National Night Out was established in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch to promote partnerships between the police and community and camaraderie among neighbors to make the community safer.
This was one of 600 National Night Out events across San Antonio, President Robert Vela said.
About 200 people showed up at the event; the music was loud as people lined up for food provided by Luther’s Cafe and district police.
A mariachi band was on hand, competing with the loudspeakers to entertain the crowd.
Jose Martinez, business freshman and Tobin Lofts resident, said, “It’s pretty cool. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
Martinez hadn’t read the recent crime stories but said, “I heard things, before I moved in, like, it wasn’t safe, but I haven’t seen anything.”
Deputy Chief Joe Pabon, who helped coordinate the event, said, “This is for the community. This gives them the opportunity to get to know each other and their local police.
“In an environment like this, you’ll see people tell us things we should be aware of,” Pabon said. Police can be intimidating for some people.
“Feel free to talk to them. They don’t bite, and if they do, they’ve had their rabies shots,” police Chief Don Adams said.
Business sophomore Deron Taylor said, “It’s nice of them to put on an event like this. It shows me a different insight on them.
“It’s nice to see how friendly they are, and knowing that they are just a couple of blocks away makes me feel safe,” he said.
Taylor, a resident of Tobin Lofts for two years, said the complex is gated, the front doors have double locks and the staff in the leasing office is very receptive.
Melissa Aguillon, a spokesperson for Tobin Lofts, said general manager Nick Leto was talking with residents at the event one-on-one to address any concerns.
“We want to make sure our residents feel as safe as possible,” Aguillon said.
Pabon said he was happy with the turnout but wants it to be much bigger.
“We’ve only filled up half the block this year. Next year, I want to fill the whole block.”
For nonemergencies, call 210-485-0099, or 210-485-0911 for emergencies.