LONGVIEW - Many in Longview came together Tuesday night at the Arabella of Longview for a District 4 town hall meeting. This comes during a time when many in the city are worried about the heightened crime that remains a problem. However, the city and police department are offering new ways to feel safe during this time period.
Dave Reed grew up in Dayton, Ohio before traveling down to East Texas to attend LeTourneau University. After spending 10 years in the Navy, he has now been in Longview for the past 25 years with his wife, Donna Reed.
"We chose to put down our roots here, and we are happy we did so," Reed said. "Away from the busy big city."
Reed said he and his wife now make a conscious effort to attend town hall meetings every chance they get to.
"We try to attend as often as possible," Reed said. I think it's pretty important for community involvement. That's what makes an actual community."
There is a push for community involvement by many parts of the city, as District 4 Councilwoman Kristen Ishihara said town hall meetings allow concerns to be brought up and issues to start to be resolved.
"Town hall meetings are great to bring residents out and get together," Ishihara said. "It's a chance to learn about what's going on."
Ishihara said she hopes the people she represents know what they have at their disposal.
"Some things I know I've gotten a lot of calls about," Ishihara said. "Once you get a couple of calls, you know more people are interesting and just aren't asking."
While the city has been offering a CitySend app that allows you to report service requests for the city, the Longview Police Department is now offering a new interactive mapping tool on its website. The map allows you to pick a time period and then any type of crime such as arson, homicide or robbery. Doing so will give you a layout that includes the details of the crimes that have happened in that time period. Ishihara said the end goal is to let people in Longview have a better understanding just how safe their neighborhoods are.
"It's a great tool and a great time for Longview because we are dealing with some public safety issues," Ishihara said.
Reed said he knows about these issues and plans to utilize this new map.
"It's always nice to know and be aware of what is going on," Reed said.
The police department's new interactive map also allows you to enter your exact address and your surrounding area. You can then set it up to where you will get updates whenever a certain type of crime happens within those parameters. To visit the new map, you can click here.
(© 2016 KYTX)