“What we can do is be involved and active in the community we live in. The community and police should not be enemies, but partners working together.”
“The homeowners as well as tenants need to learn how to clean up our community. The police will also work with us by giving us community service and working with people to clean up our areas. Once we clean our homes and begin to take care of our homes in the area, our areas will change.”
Bob Vondrasek, executive director of the
South Austin Coalition
I think it’s important to go back to some of the original goals; the community policing programs. Make sure it is a true and equal partnership; that community organizations are doing what they are suppose to do and the police doing what they are suppose to do. We certainly need to think through some of the issues that keep coming back at us, such as community safety around the schools. We had about eight months, a couple a years ago, where we had no killings. So we need to keep working on those kinds of things. We need support programs for some of the young who need jobs [and] ex-offenders who need jobs. Those are some of the things we need for the long haul.
Joyce Turner,daughter of honoree William Webster
“I think we should work together with the police. If you know of someone who is in trouble help them – go to the police. There are a lot of different organizations that they can lead you to. Come together as a community and work together. If you see anything that needs to be taken care of or brought to the front, bring it to the attention of all of us so we’ll know. This is how my father was. He was a very proud man and always, always gave back to the community. If you ever needed anything all you had to do was ask and he was there. And I have nothing but wonderful memories of my father. He passed away Sept. 27, 1989.”
Raul Vazquez, brother of slain officer Jose Vazquez
“The only way the police department can help us is like events happening today. So far, they have done a good job and said ‘we’re here.’ So I don’t have any complaints or any problems with the police department. I want to thank them for being out there for us. It’s a tragedy. We know that and we miss my brother, and hopefully his memory will continue on now that they have made an Austin garden here.”
Nancy Vazquez, sister of slain officer Jose Vazquez
“How can we support the police department? It should be the other way around – how should the police support the community? And that is by changing the attitude -how they approach the individual and just taking a total different attitude in your job. This is something my late brother worked hard on doing as he served and protected the community.”
Officer Jose Vazquez was shot and killed on Feb. 12, 2007 in an alley behind the 2500 block of West Harrison. He was 34 years old and the first police officer killed in five years. Once assigned to Austin’s 15th District, he had been promoted to Special Operations in 2004. His case is still open and no arrests have been made.