Pubdate: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Author: Mary Moreno


Other Crimes Often Can Be Traced To Narcotics, Sector Commander Brian Uhler 

The commander in charge of police in the city's downtown and northern area 
will focus on combating drugs and the crimes that often grow from illegal 

Cmdr. Brian Uhler, who leads police in the area from the city's downtown 
area and the city's northern area and northwest boundary, said police will 
focus on hot spots that are known for drug activity.

Officers are going after drug dealing and use because they often fuel other 
crimes, such as prostitution, robbery and burglaries, Uhler said.

"It's still early, but much of our efforts are going to be concentrated on 
the drug problem in the northside and westside," he said.

"It's been our experience that the prostitutes never conduct their business 
too far from the source of their drugs."

Although police have identified drug use and drug dealing as the most 
pressing issue in that area, Uhler said he wants to hear what the area's 
residents want police to address.

"The Police Department is here to support and carry out the desires of the 
community we serve," he said.

"Maybe I'm missing the point here and I want to make sure and talk to people."

'A very positive concept'

Uhler's plan is what Police Chief Pete Alvarez said he had in mind when he 
decentralized the Corpus Christi Police Department's patrol division about 
two months ago.

Alvarez said he wants the commanders to develop strategies to reduce the 
city's crime rate, which this year is showing a marked increase.

"They're grasping on to the concept and it's a very positive concept that 
involves everyone," Alvarez said. "It's healthy and I think it's working well."

Alvarez separated the patrol division into two geographical sectors with a 
commander overseeing about 100 officers in each and a third commander 
supervising 78 officers in the Special Operations Section.

Different Areas, Strategies

The second sector, overseen by Cmdr. David Torres, includes the city's 
central area and southern area, as well as Flour Bluff and Padre Island.

The Special Operations Section, led by Cmdr. Jesse Garcia, includes the 
Juvenile Enforcement Team, Directed Patrol, traffic, bike patrol and the 

Previously, one commander was in charge of nearly 250 patrol officers.

Alvarez said he also liked that the sector commanders were taking different 
approaches. While Uhler's plan is concentrated and focused on drug use and 
dealing, Torres' tactics include plans to reduce robberies and to tame 
aggressive drivers. These have been divided among himself and his three 

Uhler said some of the places his officers identified as drug hot spots 
included homes in the 1000 block of Park Avenue, 1300 block of Sam Rankin 
Street and 200 block of Clemmer Street. Part of the effort to combat the 
street level drug dealing will involve more frequent patrols of the area 
and coordination with other divisions of the Police Department, Uhler said.

"The idea is to concentrate the department's resources in those areas that 
give us the most likely chance of positive results," he said.
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