POTTER COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Early last month, Amarillo Police announced they would start up a new Neighborhood Policing Unit -- eight officers designated to give special attention to certain areas in Amarillo.
Now the program is finally off the ground and at Thursday evening's Town Hall meeting, dozens of Potter County residents found out what those locations will be.
There was a sigh of relief from many of the residents when they found out their neighborhood was on the list.
One of them is Jane Frausto. She's lived in the Barrio on Amarillo's east side area for over 40 years. She says she cares deeply about this neighborhood, but also says this part of town has definitely had its low points.
"People would drink and cause fights," said Frausto. "The park would be a meeting place for them and the other people really don't feel secure in the neighborhood because of the park being there."
When she found out the Barrio was on the list of new locations APD's Neighborhood Policing Unit would focus on, she only had one thing to say.
"It's about time," said Frausto. "I would love to see them coming around the neighborhood."
Along with the Barrio area, The NPU Unit will have offices in North Heights, San Jacinto, and at the Westly Community Center.
"I think that's an important milestone," said Potter County Commissioner, Mercy Murguia. "I think this is a little different approach which I have welcomed in terms of asking the community of what their expectations are."
Sergeant Wade Pennington, whose in charge of the new unit, says their job isn't so much to focus on crime, but the quality of life for these communities -- like cleanliness and most importantly, going door to door introducing themselves to the neighborhood.
"With them being being right there, I think that is wonderful," said Frausto.
New bikes for these officers have just come in and new uniforms are on the way.
Some more good news for the Barrio area, they are next on the city's list for their Neighborhood planning initiative. A series of meetings will start in January for residents to voice their opinions about what changes they would like to see.