While I’m certain that it was not a light-policing week for the Harker Heights police department, crime reports were notably reduced during the past week.

A reduction in crime in any city is the direct result of an effective proactive policing strategy. Couple this strategy with an involved and vigilant citizenry and you have a low crime rate.

A low crime rate equates to a great place to live and work. Despite the best efforts of law enforcement and citizen involvement, crime continues to occur.

An aggravated robbery with a knife or cutting instrument was reported in the 600 block of Indian Trail Drive this week. When a criminal poses an immediate danger to the safety of the victim by displaying a deadly weapon, it is unwise to be a hero. Money and other personal belongings can be replaced. You cannot.

That is not to say that you should passively submit to the threatening criminal without taking covert action. No.

There are steps that one can take without being exposed to increased risk. Keeping one’s wits about them and remaining as calm as the situation permits is the key. Memorize the criminal’s physical description and clothing. Noting unusual or unique attributes such as scars, marks and tattoos may assist the police in identifying and apprehending the criminal subsequent to the crime.

Three assaults were reported to police this week. These were not localized to one specific area, but occurred in various areas of the city.

Assaults are violent acts, which may or may not result in bodily injury. Violence, particularly family violence occurs when the emotion of anger overcomes judgment.

Assaults are frequently exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumption, particularly in excess, results in the marked reduction of inhibitions and common sense, turning an otherwise stalwart individual into a fool.

Two thefts were reported to police this week. One theft was from a retail establishment on Central Texas Expressway and the second from a gasoline retailer on Heights Drive. The latter is known as a gas drive off. Hopefully, video surveillance cameras will assist police in the identification of the perpetrator.

A burglary of a habitation was reported in a residential area of Daybreak Drive. While one burglary of a residence does not seem excessive in a community such as Harker Heights, it does to the victims of this crime.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement.

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