By CLINT FOSTER
Over the past 12 months, the Mineral Wells community, under the leadership of the Mineral Wells Police Department, has been putting forth a concerted effort to combat crime at its source and make the city a safer place to live, work and play. It is called Project 365 and, in its first year, has focused on a target area on the southeast side of town that has statistically been a hotbed for crime, especially property crime.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting – conducted in the special location of the Mineral Wells Junior High Library – Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan presented his report of the project’s results. He also publicly recognized the many individuals and groups that contributed to its success by awarding plaques. It served as the perfect launching point for National Night Out: a community gathering at the school as part of a nationwide effort to promote crime prevention activities by encouraging neighbors to get to know each other and look out for one another.
Project 365’s first-year process of high-visibility enforcement, code enforcement, neighborhood cleanup and restoration within the target area – between S.E. 6th Avenue to S.E. 14th Avenue and from Martin Luther King Jr. Street to Municipal Highway 379 – was declared an overall success.
Over the course of the 365 day period, statistics showed a 6 percent drop in overall crime in the target area when compared to to the previous year.
Volunteers also worked tirelessly to clean up and restore multiple properties.
Sullivan said Project 365 is a long-term venture to improve Mineral Wells, at-large. It’s a program that is built primarily on lessons Sullivan learned at his previous police post.
“This is applying the model to community policing that’s kind of a hybrid adaptation of what I learned in 25 years of [working in] Fort Worth,” he said.