The southeast part of town, in particular Project 365’s target area, remains the most active “hotspot” for crime in all of Mineral Wells since before last year. Now with a second year of the project beginning and a smaller, better-defined target area, Sullivan hopes that relief is in sight.
“I believe this is a good model with shown successes,” he said. “We didn’t absolutely win the war, but some of the things we have accomplished, those are gains. That’s moving in a positive direction.”
Sullivan expressed a great deal of thanks to the many volunteers and groups that helped in the execution of Project 365, but also encouraged even more community involvement in any way possible. He further encouraged people to use the many tools available now, such as Neighborhood Watch or Report It – a free service that allows people to register valuable property, so that if stolen, police can more easily track it to locations like pawn shops.
“With a little bit more neighborhood and community involvement, whether it’s participating in cleanups or just putting on a fresh coat of paint (we can continue to make progress),” he said. “We’ve got dedicated volunteers who have demonstrated their care and concern and given of their time, which is a precious commodity, to come out and help neighbors they probably don’t know and rid the community of its blight. This is very proven logic when it comes to criminal justice.”
Sullivan emphasized the importance of cleaning up community blight to helping solve any crime problem. He saw this same method successfully used during 25-years of police work in Fort Worth. It’s all part of Sullivan’s ultimate goal to bring Mineral Wells back to the greatness it once enjoyed as a destination city and beyond. Sullivan said this is a matter of changing people’s perceptions.
“We try to attack the blight that gives people the perception that Mineral Wells is something that it’s really not,” he said. “Is there crime here? Yes. Is there a drug problem here? There are drugs in every community. The challenge is how can we, as a community, get people to understand the importance of getting involved. Working together, we can truly make Mineral Wells a great place to work, live and play.”