The program began at 5 p.m. with Warner greeting the crowd and saying she was happy to see the community support law enforcement and support families.
Warner said she wants the community to help juveniles before they end up in court. “A juvenile is anyone from 10-17 years old. Most of the children that we are seeing in the juvenile justice, as part of my job, are kids from broken homes; either the father or mother are not there or they are in prison,” Warner said.
She added that many of the parents and grandparents that were at the crime prevention block party were the “active ones” and involved in their children’s lives. She challenged the “active parents” to think about a child in the neighborhood who doesn’t have a mom or dad. “If you could just take an extra step and develop a relationship with them, you can make a huge difference in their lives. Then I won’t see them in my court. Inevitably the ones in juvenile court end up on the felony level and they ultimately, after a period of time, end up in prison.”
She continued, “I know it is hard because everyone is worrying about getting in trouble but nobody is going to fault you for loving a child and trying to help a child out. This is a wonderful community. You take care of your kids and your law enforcement is supportive of you and you are supportive of your law enforcement. I just want you to be aware of what is going on and watch the children.”
Warner followed by challenging the students to “stand up for themselves and do what is right.” She said if you see something happening in your community or school that is wrong or illegal, report it. “Some kids don’t report illegal activity because they don’t want to get involved. You guys know if you don’t get involved then the bad guys stay, and they are very involved. Stand up and say, ‘We don’t like you bringing marijuana to school. We don’t want you doing that.’ And kids if you don’t have somebody in your life, find a special adult, and hang out with them. I bet they will feel just as good about sharing their time with you as you do with them.”
Warner closed by thanking the crime prevention committee for inviting her and said, “I am honored to be working for you and I appreciate your prayers.”
Then George West Mayor Sylvia Steele addressed the crowd. She said, “Here in George West, and in many cities throughout these great United States, residents in conjunction with their police departments are hosting Crime Prevention Block Parties. The goal of these events is to equip the residents with safety tips and establish communication lines with law enforcement. We hope to minimize victimization and create a community that is unattractive to criminals.”
Following Steele were the helicopter and fire truck tours. Others that were part of crime prevention night include members of the George West FCCLA. The youth club supports career and technical education. This evening the youth cheerfully ran the bounce house.
K-9 coach and trainer Floyd Swydan of Corpus Christi gave a canine training demonstration. Sid Martin with the San Antonio Northside Lions Club passed out pamphlets on giving the gift of mobility. The Lions provide Personal Energy Transportation (PET) vehicles at no cost to individuals with disabilities who live in poor and underdeveloped countries. They said they need volunteers to help with the construction and delivery of the PETs.
Marissa Gonzales with Exclusive Home Health Hospice and representatives from the Live Oak Nursing Home shared a table. In addition to pamphlets, they were giving out recyclable shopping bags and candy.
At the U.S. Census table were three representatives from the Corpus Christi field office. Evangelina Chapa spoke on behalf of the group. She said, “We are giving out promotional canvas bags with brochures on the 2010 census. We want the citizens of Live Oak County to be counted. This is important to the community and to the nation. It means equal representation in the House of Representatives and most importantly it means funding for infrastructure, funding for school buildings, etc.”
George West Unify to Beautify members gave soil and planting demonstrations. They also passed out leaflets letting the public know about the “Fall Trash Off.” It is an opportunity for residents to get rid of unwanted furniture, appliances, mattresses, metal and used tires. It will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. Diana Geffert said, “The block party is a great way to get people involved and united in the community.
Mickie Ochoa of Beeville, with “Operation Save our Babies,” was on hand to teach drivers how to properly restrain a child in a car seat. Ochoa said, “Any child younger than eight must be restrained in an approved child passenger safety seat.”
Students from the new biotechnology class at George West High School helped chief jailer/administrator David Garcia and Sgt. Frank Servantes take fingerprints of children to make child identification cards. Servantes said, “This program is great. Oftentimes we only see kids when they are in trouble; this is a great way to get to know the kids. We want children to trust police officers. Any time a child needs help or advice (he or she is) welcome to talk to us.”
Elementary Principal Tommy Williams said, “I think this program is good for the kids. I am encouraging them to go down and visit with the police. I’m also glad we have some high school kids here as supervisors. It looks like it is going to be a fun night.”