The Garland Business District held a meeting Feb. 20 about bringing a COPS shop to the Garland area.
Close to 100 people and many city officials were at the meeting, said Julie Shepard-Hall, a business owner who has spearheaded the campaign to bring a COPS shop there.
“Volunteers from other COPS shops came, and we heard a lot from people who have had things happen to them,” Shepard-Hall said.
The biggest hurdle for a new COPS shop is the need for volunteers.
“We need to have at least 20 committed people to volunteering – and we need someone to take the lead and organize things,” Shepard-Hall said after the meeting. Some people did sign up to volunteer. COPS shop volunteers must pass a background check, so Shepard-Hall doesn’t know how many volunteers she has.
At the meeting, people also signed a petition in support of the Garland COPS shop that will be presented to Mayor David Condon and the City Council.
COPS is currently renegotiating its contract with the city, so it’s uncertain if any funding for an additional shop will be available.
Shepard-Hall began working on getting a COPS shop to the Garland Business District because she feels like there has been more crime there lately.
“While we were in the meeting, three cars in the parking lot across the street from the church had their windows broken,” Shepard-Hall said. And there has been more copper wire stolen from Garland businesses since the COPS shop meeting was announced.
She added that Garland district residents and business owners who want to be notified about upcoming meetings can sign up at the Garland Sandwich Shoppe, 3903 N. Madison St., or follow the Garland Business District or the Garland Block Watch on Facebook.
“We will be posting updates there,” Shepard-Hall said. “Our next goal is to set up a meeting for the volunteers who’ve already signed up.”