By CHRIS AGEE
The continuing efforts of police and local leaders to revitalize the southeast portion of Mineral Wells continued with a recent cleanup day.
Known as Project 365, the yearlong program is broken into quarterly phases. Currently in the third phase, those involved are focused on code enforcement and neighborhood blight.
Joining with volunteers in the community, including faith-based Mission Mineral Wells, officers spent three hours cleaning up trash and hauling debris throughout the statistically high-crime area of town.
"When we drove in, it didn't look like there was much trash to pick up," said volunteer Brandon Jordan, "but when we actually started walking the streets, there was a lot of trash."
In all about 40 individuals associated with Mission Mineral Wells showed up to tackle the project and coordinator Rose Jordan reported the team collected more than 10 truckloads of refuse.
A proponent of community policing, Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan stressed the importance of partnering with locals in the successful completion of Project 365.
At its inception last August, Sullivan explained the MWPD is "partnering with community stakeholders to get them to stand with us in this fight against crime."
While that plan includes the implementation of neighborhood watch programs and other efforts to target lawbreakers, the cleanup phase also depends heavily on community involvement.
The final stage, which will continue through the summer months, includes revitalization projects by community groups and the formation of neighborhood watch groups in and around the target area.