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Group aims to bring residents’ concerns to Port Arthur Police; Chief says he is listening

Bridging the gap between police and residents is the mission behind the Port Arthur Police Chief Advisory Committee.

“It is a huge value,” PAPD Chief Tim Duriso said of the organization.

Duriso said the group takes concerns of residents and relays them to him and the police department.

“Sometimes people feel more comfortable talking to non-law enforcement than law enforcement,” he said.

Members of Port Arthur City Council appoint or reappoint residents to the advisory committee, which was done this week at the city council meeting.

The new advisory committee members include: Levy Barnes, Glenda Chilo, Rev. Kalan Gardner, JoAnn Jones, Mike Mason, Langston Adams, Reginald Trainer, Cindy Jackson, Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, L.J. Robinson, Jimmy Derouen, Muhammad Zahid Bashir and Melanie Ned.

Deloris “Bobbie” Prince believes Chief Duriso is eager to be part of this partnership.

“He is eager to serve and we feel he is doing a wonderful job,” Prince said.

Prince said they take part in public meetings where residents can come and voice their concerns.

“We have had meetings at several different apartment complexes in the city, and the chief has always been there. He is very supportive of the mission of the advisory committee,” she said.

Duriso said there have been community meetings at Prince Hall apartments, Avery Trace apartments, Edison Plaza, Port Arthur Independent School District and other locations.

“I think it’s working as it was designed to do and we always look forward for ways to improve,” he said.

Prince said one of the things that has been stressed by the chief and committee is the need for neighborhood watch groups.

“He is definitely a strong advocate and we are there to support him in his efforts,” she said.

Prince said they are looking at the possibility of having quarterly Zoom meetings where residents can connect with the chief from the safety and comfort of their own homes. The idea is still in the discussion phase.