Each day it seems we are hearing of another police officer injured or killed in the line of duty.
The five officers killed in Dallas brought this madness very close to home for all of us. On that day I made the decision to do what I could to make a change. For me it comes down to this, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NIV)
How different our world would be if we could all treat others the way we would like to be treated. Perhaps if we all start in our own inner circle, our own family, our own relationships and love each other first. If we practice putting others first in our relationships we set the example for our children and those around us. It just takes one person to start loving their neighbor as themselves; just one person to put others needs before their own to set the example and others will do the same. Yes, in the big picture of what is taking place in our nation this may seem to be a small act. But the smallest is often the mightiest.
Since 2008 the Highland Village Police Department has held a bike race and 5K run fundraiser for the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, the Fallen Officer Bike Race and 5K. The event, held the third Saturday in October, has grown each year and this year will be even bigger. If you’d like to participate in the program, the website TXFallenPD.com outlines the many available opportunities.
We’ve also designed a shirt that honors all the Texas officers who have lost their life since the HVPD began this fundraiser in 2008. There are 118 names on the shirt. Read that again, 118 Texas officers have died in the line of duty between 2008 and 2016. The shirts are available for purchase at the TXFallenPD.com website, at the police department and very soon from some of our local retailers.
We are fortunate in Highland Village to be served by a police department that makes community involvement a priority. The community policing model practiced by the department has put the officers in our neighborhoods, our schools, shopping centers and eateries. Our officers stop and play ball with the kids, they help people move a television if needed, and of course they remind us if we leave our garage door open, valuables in the car or even the keys in the car. Our police department truly provides top notch customer service to our community.
In fact, all our city departments provide superior customer service to our residents. This was confirmed for us when we received the results of a recent resident satisfaction survey. We conducted our first ever resident satisfaction survey to gauge the community’s perception of life in Highland Village, the services we provide, how we communicate with residents and the level of satisfaction for the amount each of us pay in property and sales taxes. I’m pleased to say the results were very positive. Over 65% of those surveyed express satisfaction of the services they receive in relation to the property and sales taxes paid. Residents rated the appearance of Highland Village high in regard to quality of life as well as the safety of the community, the parks and trails system and the services provided by the Fire Department. The survey measured resident’s opinion of aspects of life in Highland Village, with the most attractive aspects listed as the City’s appearance, available activities and the safety of the community. Residents express high level of satisfaction with the services provided by each department, particularly the interaction with staff members and the positive outcome of the interaction. Public Safety was looked at more closely by assessing satisfaction with Police and Fire handling of calls and response time to calls. Communication with residents was also a focus in evaluating the current communication tools and inquiring as to the best method of communication with residents. I applaud our city staff who all take pride in providing high quality service to the residents of Highland Village. And while we are pleased with the positive results of the survey, we are always looking for way to improve the services we provide our residents.
One item in the survey was the request for better roads and mobility within the city. We realize FM 407 and I-35E have been under construction for quite some time and that has impacted all of us as we traverse in and out of Highland Village. These roads are TxDOT roads and while we are working closely with them, they are not directly in our control. Highland Village Road, on the other hand, is a city roadway. We have begun the reconstruction of Highland Village Road from Brazos Boulevard to the KCS Railroad crossing. This construction will cause some delays as there will be flagging operations in effect. If you can take an alternate route, it will likely save you some time. It is our hope the overlay is complete by the end of August.
And since it’s hot and it’s August, that means it’s time for the Highland Village Lions Club Balloon Festival. This year the event will take place August 19-21 at Unity Park, which means many Highland Village residents can walk to the festival and enjoy the hot air balloons, the music, arts, crafts and the kid zone. Moving the festival to Unity Park has made this a true community event. This festival is the main fund raiser for the Lions Club and they use the dollars earned to provide vision and hearing tests for preschool children and others in our community. The festival is free to attend, the Lions Club just asks for a $5 donation for parking. You can see all the activities at www.lionsballoonfest.com. I hope to see you there!
Right after the Balloon Festival the kids will start back to school. Remember to slow down in the school zones, watch for the kids walking through the neighborhoods on the way to and from school and most importantly don’t text and drive. Stay focused on your surroundings so we can all have a great start to the school year.