Barbara Mackowicz must sometimes spend late evenings helping people prepare their income taxes, so she was glad that the Hurst and Bedford police recently opened a storefront near her office on East Pipeline Road.
Mackowicz works at an H&R Block location close to the storefront at 752 E. Pipeline Road where officers from now work in an area that needed more of a police presence.
“This place [the storefront] has been empty for such a long time,” she said. “I feel a lot safer.”
Officers started moving into the storefront, formerly a Wells Fargo Bank branch, about a month ago.
Hurst Police Chief Steve More said the city had a storefront office on Texas 10 dating to the 1990s but that the building was too small and police were having a hard time providing services.
At 4,200 square feet, the new storefront is three times the size of the old one.
Catherine Hollis, volunteer coordinator at Mission Central, a nearby nonprofit that provides food, clothing and other services to the needy, said she is glad that officers can send people to her agency for help.
Bedford Mayor Jim Griffin said the cities formed a partnership to provide services that are shared among police departments such as the mental health coordinator. Bedford’s repeat-victimization unit is also housed at the storefront, he said.
“I think the storefront is a great example of how our two cities can work together and as mayor, I want to build relationships with our two cities,” he said.
Moore said the storefront is close to nine apartment complexes, and the Police Department wants to continue its work to reduce crime in the area.
The city has a program called crime-free multihousing. Property owners are asked to take a “common sense” approach to reducing crime such as installing sturdy locks on apartment doors, trimming trees and shrubs and making sure common areas are well lit.
Hurst police Sgt. Dan Bedillion said that since the storefront opened, people have stopped in to report break-ins, property theft and other crimes.
“What we’re really seeing is that people are stopping by and telling us thank you for moving to the area. It makes us feel like we are making a difference in the community,” he said.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696