Before I get into this, I want everyone reading it to very clearly understand that I don’t believe for a minute that the officers of the Port Arthur Police Department aren’t doing their jobs and are simply following orders. I believe that if any fingers need to be pointed, they should be pointed towards department administration; and, not at individual officers themselves. Okay?
Wouldn’t it be nice were the City of Port Arthur to have a real law enforcement agency serving the community? Sure, we all know that Port Arthur has a Police Department, but from what I see on our streets and roadways on almost a daily basis (if I see a PAPD unit at all) is a Police Department that apparently doesn’t think enforcing laws falls within its job description. Unless you live in a neighborhood where an important city officials lives, anything that even loosely resembles a routine neighborhood police patrol is all but non-existent. Too, I think the City of Port Arthur could save tons of taxpayer dollars by not bothering to put up speed limit signs anywhere in the community because so few motorists even bother abiding by them any more. The same thing goes for stop signs and school zone signs, too. There aren’t many motorists who pay any attention to either; the same with red traffic lights at growing numbers of Port Arthur street intersections. And last but not least, especially since Tropical Storm Harvey wreaked havoc on Port Arthur, special patrols to prevent looters from having their way with unprotected homeowners simply have yet to be seen.
This situation simply isn’t like that in most neighboring communities. My work takes me into communities and rural areas throughout the Golden Triangle of Southeast Texas. What I see in those areas outside the realm of the City of Port Arthur is a smattering of law enforcement agencies who know what “policing” is really all about. Trips into and through Groves often include seeing at least a couple of units on patrol through neighborhoods, business activity areas, or simply setting up running radar to apprehend speeding vehicles (recently netting three vehicles traveling on Highway 73 at speeds of 91, 92 and 93 mph respectively in the 65 mph driving speed area). Port Neches is the same thing. On any given day or night, I frequently see at least one Port Neches Police unit moving around town. And in Nederland there is the best chance of coming across NPD units moving throughout the community. But not in Port Arthur, Texas, were I can go days and nights of not seeing a single PAPD anywhere.
It’s bad enough that I’ve caught looters trying to help themselves to what little Tropical Storm Harvey left me and my family with three times since the storm. I’m not wasting my time calling PAPD the next time I catch any of these wastes of human flesh trying to loot my place. First off, I don’t want to have to stand around and wait until some officer becomes available to respond to my call for sometimes hours at length; or, only to be told there aren’t any units available. And I sure as hell ain’t looking forward to getting another lecture about how my home “isn’t properly secured”, that I pretty much “invited” the thieves to come on in. The next time I find someone prowling around inside my house, if I do actually call PAPD, it won’t be asking for an officer. It’s going to have them send me a JP and the number of body bags I need.
I’m preparing a letter that will be sent to Texas Governor Abbot asking he send Rangers to Port Arthur to declare Marshal Law until such time as a community protection system can be installed that will provide the people of the community true law enforcement protection. I supposed there isn’t much chance Governor Abbot is going to pay any attention to the number of problems making our community so unsafe, nor do I expect to get so much as response. But maybe, just maybe, Governor Abbot will get together with his buddy Mayor Derrick Freeman to initiate a discussion pertaining to why Port Arthur, Texas, has virtually no police or law enforcement protection.
And maybe, just maybe, the next time Port Arthur Mayor Freeman and the members of City Council decide to hire a Police Chief, they’ll do so by finding someone who actually knows something about building and structuring a REAL police department that knows how to enforce laws.