Upcoming Worth Hills parking garage to make room for police

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Two police offices will be built into TCU’s first parking garage, a six-story structure scheduled to go up in Worth Hills in 2016.

“Anything we can do to help with the deterrence of crime in the area and bring more police presence around is what we’re looking to do,” said TCU Chief of Police Steven McGee.

McGee said police use a variety of methods from bicycles to surveillance cameras, store fronts and now the soon-to-be parking garage police offices to keep the campus safe.

TCU police work with Fort Worth officers who sometimes occupy a storefront police office nearby, McGee said.

The storefront, located at 2900 W. Berry St., helps deter crime, McGee said, because people who might be thinking about committing a crime might see the office, think an officer might show up any minute and decide otherwise.

McGee said the hope is that having police offices inside the future 1200-space Worth Hills parking garage will have the same deterrent effect as the storefront. Officers could use the location, he said, as a place to write their reports.

Sidney Keith, a neighborhood police officer with the Fort Worth Police Department, sometimes uses the storefront facility and said an officer is there most of the time.

Since TCU police does not have a jail facility, if an arrest is made, Keith said the Fort Worth Police Department is called.

“We are all police officers,” he said. “We all work together.”

Keith patrols an area north of Berry Street that includes Worth Hills, where the parking garage is scheduled to be built near Bellaire Drive.

According to Keith, there isn’t much crime in the Worth Hills area.

Keith said during games, public intoxication increases, but throughout the year, the biggest problems are speeding and parking violations.

Construction on the garage is scheduled to begin in May 2015, after Brachman Hall is torn down, and will take about a year to complete, said TCU Facility Planning and Construction Director Harold Leeman. Of its $20 million plus budget, about $30,000 will be earmarked for the police offices.

“Their presence will be on that second level which will have good views.” he said. “We’ll have cameras to look at the garage but also to look into the Worth Hills area.”

With its good sightlines, McGee said no one could hide inside the garage easily, and if someone needs help they could easily be seen.

“We don’t anticipate a lot of problems,” he said.
 

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