MARY MEAUX — Industry leaders support police, our safety
Published 12:09 am Thursday, December 19, 2019
Two separate donations from different industry leaders on behalf of the city of Port Arthur and its police department go far in benefitting Port Arthur citizens.
Golden Pass LNG stepped up to the plate once again — they did this last year, as well — and pitched in more than $7,700, which is Port Arthur’s portion of the Southeast Texas Governments’ Intra-Agency Funding Coalition per capita contribution for Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas Inc.
Port Arthur’s once active Crime Stoppers program dissolved some years ago, then Crime Stoppers moved to a more regional approach, operating in Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties.
Crime Stoppers is regulated by the governor’s office and anonymity is guaranteed. No identification can be revealed about the caller, nothing can be called into a court of law.
Crime Stoppers has been around since 1981 and there’s never been a reported case of a tipster’s identification being discovered, according to information from Crime Stoppers.
By law, 80 percent of its funds must go toward the payout of rewards and some funding comes from county probation funds, executive director Stephanie Vanskike said.
The remaining 20 percent comes from the coalition, with each participating municipality or county paying a portion per capita for operating costs. There are 17 affiliated agencies.
This allows for the salary of the executive director and full time employees and the work they do to make the nonprofit a success.
“I am now able to help out law enforcement coordinators and alleviate some of their responsibilities, such as handling of the tips received, reporting and payout as well as working on community education and the mobile space home display,” Vanskike said.
Crime Stoppers is an active organization and reaches out into Greater Port Arthur.
Retired Sgt. Al Johnson, who is with Crime Stoppers, visits various low-income apartment complexes, attends community events, neighborhood association meetings and gives out information and safety seminars, Vanskike said.
In addition, Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso is extremely supportive of the organization, attending many of the events and answering questions from the public.
Crime Stoppers also operates at local high school campuses, including Memorial in Port Arthur, Nederland High School and Port Neches-Groves High School.
PAPD’s K9 Unit also saw some benefit from local industry with a donation of K9 vests and collars from Port Arthur Industrial Group and Paws of Beaumont.
Deputy Chief Michael Fratus said the K9s are officers and recognized as such.
If a K9 falls in the line of duty, he or she is recognized on the Officer Memorial no different from when a human officer falls in the line of duty.
The K9 partners not only protect the officers but the citizens of the city as well.
Kudos go out to Golden Pass LNG, PAIG and Paws of Beaumont for their donations to make the city and its citizens and officers safe.
Mary Meaux is a reporter with The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.