With the rash of domestic violence reports in Cove during the past year, it has become clear that intolerance and family member bullying threatens to severely tarnish our image as “the city for family living,” as our motto touts.

During my 30-plus years in law enforcement, I learned that the vast majority of domestic violence incidents occurred as a result of stresses caused by work, sex and financial issues. These were aggravated by the participant’s inability to confront and discuss these issues responsibly and maturely. Add alcohol to the mix and the situation becomes volatile.

Nationally, family violence incidents tend to increase during the holidays. It is widely believed that this phenomenon is the result of increased anxiety, stress, depression and financial worry at this time of year.

While I do not believe the holidays breed increased family violence, I am equally certain alcohol consumption increases the likelihood that smoldering issues will surface and morph into arguments, which frequently result in physical violence.

It is true that alcohol consumption historically increases during the holidays, particularly in the days leading up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Year’s day.

Often, folks under stress will consume alcohol and other substances as a means to cope with holiday stresses. The problem here is that as the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs increases, the ability to cope decreases. Inhibitions ebb and words and actions become less controlled.

The result? An obnoxious drunk capable of actions he or she would not even consider when sober.

The key to preventing domestic violence during the holidays is the same key to preventing these incidents throughout the year. That is to alleviate the underlying stresses, which act as the catalyst. Adopt a 10-count strategy during disagreements. No, I don’t mean a 10-count after throwing a punch. I mean counting to 10 in lieu of throwing a punch, or simply doing the mature thing by walking away for a cool-down period.

By doing so, you will not only show you are the bigger person, but you will avoid a night or two in jail, added financial burdens, a criminal record and the loss of the privilege of owning a gun.

Limit alcohol consumption during get-togethers and serve nonalcoholic beverages as an option.

Financial stresses brought about by the perceived obligation to buy and give significant gifts can be overwhelming, particularly to those on a tight budget. These expectations can cause anxiety when combined with the added expenses incurred during the holidays.

Stress and financial pressures can be managed by developing a holiday budget that one can afford, however small. Once this has been accomplished, stick to it. Resist the urge to overspend by resisting external pressures by advertisers and merchants.

Consider giving homemade gifts rather than expensive store-bought ones. Personally, I find a homemade gift to be more thoughtful than a store-bought one simply taken from a display shelf. Homemade holiday cards are a sure-fire way to convey one’s true feelings to a friend or loved one.

Assaults

  • Twelve assaults were reported to police this week. Of this intolerable number, nine involved family violence.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 16 in the 1400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
  • An assault on a public servant was reported Nov. 16. The perpetrator of this assault faces felony charges and stiff penalties if convicted.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 16 in the 600 block of Bowen Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Nov. 19 in the 1100 block of Hogg Court.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Nov. 19 in the 500 block of Courtney Lane.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 19 in the 100 block of West Truman Avenue.
  • An assault by contact was reported Nov. 20 in the 300 block of East Avenue E.
  • Two separate counts of assault by contact/family violence were reported Nov. 21 in the 1200 block of Urbantke Lane.
  • An assault by contact was reported Nov. 22 in the 2000 block of Mattie Drive.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 22 in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 22 in the 300 block of Judy Lane.

In recent weeks, several of these assault/family violence incidents were reported at the same location. The repeat performers should understand that Texas takes a dim view of continuous domestic violence, as does the Coryell County judiciary. Seek counseling.

Thefts/burglaries

Thirteen thefts and burglaries were reported to police this week. That number is on par for recent weeks and reflects the greediness of our thieves. Many will be caught and some will go on to commit more thefts.

  • An attempted burglary of a residence was reported Nov. 11 in the 100 block of Zarley Drive.
  • The theft of a cellphone was reported Nov. 11 in the 500 block of West Avenue A.
  • The theft of a cellphone was reported Nov. 11 in the 1200 block of South Farm-to-Market 116.
  • An attempted burglary of a residence was reported Nov. 11 in the 300 block of North Drive.
  • The theft of various household items was reported Nov. 11 in the 500 block of Judy Lane.
  • A theft of a money order was reported Nov. 16 in the 500 block of north First Street.
  • Food items were reported stolen from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A theft of electronics, a fishing pole and a vehicle bumper were reported stolen Nov. 19 in the 300 block of Cove Terrace.
  • The theft of currency was reported Nov. 19 in the 900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A theft was reported Nov. 21 in the 200 block of North Dove Lane.
  • Burglary of a habitation was reported Nov. 21 in the 1400 block of Chaparral Drive.
  • The theft of services was reported Nov. 22 in the 2300 block of Isabella Drive.
  • Theft of linens was reported on Nov. 22 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

Other crimes

  • Forgery of money was reported Nov. 11 in the 1200 block of West Avenue B.
  • Forgery of money was reported Nov. 11 in the 300 block of Cove Terrace. Forgery of money is not counterfeiting. It is forgery of a money instrument to include money orders and checks.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Nov. 20 in the 100 block of West Anderson Avenue. Damage estimated at $1,000 to vehicle body panels was reported.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Nov. 19 in the 700 block of South 15th Street. This crime is ever-present in today society.

Tip of the week

Identification theft occurs nationally every six seconds. If that doesn’t worry you, it should. Identity theft costs victims billions of dollars each year, not to mention the time, effort and hassle of restoring a person’s credit and good name after being victimized.

Credit monitoring services are good and can be helpful in preventing and helping to minimize or prevent damage from identity theft; however, the key to prevention is you.

Safeguard your personal information, such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card numbers with account number and even your address. Never give these identifiers to anyone you do not know or implicitly trust, and never give this information over the telephone.

Legitimate government agencies and financial institutions will never require identifying information over the telephone. Only scammers with criminal intent will ask these of you.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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