Maintaining law and order in a growing community is a top priority for Haughton Police Chief Todd Gibson.
“We’ve been very fortunate to not have a lot of major crime here,” Gibson said. “Our officers are training in various ways than we’ve ever trained in the past.”
The Haughton Police Department has 10 full-time officers, six reserve officers, an assistant police chief and Gibson’s position. They recently added a full-time officer and plan to add more reserve officers.
“With all of the residential and commercial growth we’re seeing, we plan to add more patrol officers,” Gibson said. “It’s growing quick so we’re trying to stay on top of it and make sure we have the resources and man power to enforce the law like we’re supposed to do.”
Depending on how much the town actually grows, Gibson said there could be a need for more officers in the future.
“We’re growing so fast that we’re coordinating our department to make sure we do our part to better serve our citizens,” he added.
Haughton’s biggest problem areas include traffic related calls and petty thefts.
“Our officers have done a great job these first few months of the year addressing the traffic complaints,” Gibson said. “One of the biggest complaints we’ve had is speeding through the neighborhoods.”
A solution to that, Gibson said, is adding two motorcycle units to the department.
“We’re going to put those into the neighborhoods to target traffic violations in and around the neighborhoods,” he said. “We’re also going to use them to visit the kids at school and be more involved in community events.”
Gibson said his department has also been doing more individualized patrols, which means officers are focusing patrols on individual businesses and neighborhoods.
“We’re dividing up how we patrol and making sure we’re covering as much area as we can with whoever is working,” he said.
Overall, Gibson said Haughton is “a very safe place” to live. He credits that to the citizens they serve.
“We have a great community. It all goes back to the people who live here,” he said. “They are quick to inform us if they see any suspicious activity or if they see someone who doesn’t belong in the area. Our citizens are the eyes and ears of this community.”
Gibson added, “We certainly appreciate our citizens. We’re doing everything possible to keep them safe.”