As the summer vacation months draw to a close, burglaries in all categories tend to begin a seasonal downward trend. This appears to be true of Harker Heights. Residents returned from vacation, thereby deterring thieves from making them a target of burglary.

The school year has begun, providing gainful activities for our youth.

The waning burglary reports will be short-lived, however. When the holiday season begins in late November, burglaries will once again take center stage. The holidays bring out the best in most of us and the worst in a few of us. Burglaries, thefts and assaults all increase during the holidays. As the holidays approach, much will be written regarding holiday crime prevention and safety.

A single burglary was reported to police this week, making this an exceptional week of crime prevention. This burglary was of a habitation in the 900 block of Ramblewood Drive. To me, a single burglary in a residential city the size of Harker Heights is a policing achievement. Kudos, cops!

While it seems that it was a light-policing week for the Harker Heights Police Department, the fact is that it is quite the opposite. Heavy-duty policing results in a notable reduction in criminal activity. A police presence is in itself a deterrent to crime. More police presence, less crime.

Harker Heights police diligently and frequently patrol residential neighborhoods during each shift. These patrols occur in random patterns and times to keep potential thieves off balance. This is an excellent, time-tested crime prevention strategy.

Apparently, in Harker Heights, it works.

Assaults continued on an even trajectory this week. Violence occurs when emotions overshadow common sense and good judgment. Stand back, analyze, employ logic and approach the problem with verbal interaction, not fists.

One assault with bodily injury occurred in the 200 block of Commercial Drive.

An assault by contact was reported in the 600 block of West Central Texas Expressway.

An assault by threat was reported in the 100 block of Turnbo Road. While this category of assault is less serious than the categories of contact, bodily injury and with a deadly weapon, the potential for violence exists.

Many threats have morphed into violent actions. These assaults should be taken seriously. It is old, but still pertinent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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

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