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Island resident hoping to start neighborhood watch program

Posted at 8:36 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 18:12:41-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Padre Island always has been seen as a safe area. Its beaches and reputation make it a destination popular with tourists, however, recent incidents on the island that have some residents concerned for their safety.

At the end of October, a missing couple from New Hampshire was discovered on the beach.

An armed robbery took place in November.

And New Year's Day began with a bang -- and not the fireworks kind -- for one island couple when they awoke to stray bullets shooting through their bedroom window.

With no current Corpus Christi Police Department substation on the Island, one resident decided to start a neighborhood watch program.

Chul Kim McGuire has been living on the island since 2001. He said the recent uptick in crime has inspired him to organize the island community.

"We are starting a neighborhood crime-patrol watch program," he said. "We've attempted that before but I think we're at a tipping point, where we need to get more serious about it; that we got a lot of concerned people, we got a lot of visitors."

McGuire believes there needs to be a substation on the island, and has sent email messages to Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb and city council members, as well as the Island Strategic Action Committee.

"Hopefully they can develop a plan, if it's a matter of a strategic budgeting to get necessary resources, let's do that, before it becomes a major problem here," McGuire said.

Council member Paulette Guajardo has responded to McGuire, and told KRIS 6 News she is looking into what can be done to make island residents feel safe.

In the meantime, McGuire believes a volunteer-run neighborhood watch program would benefit his community, benefiting the entire island and not just one area or neighborhood.

He said he wants volunteers to come forward and discuss what they can do to create an effective program for the Island.

There will be a meeting at Island Joe's Coffee at 4 p.m. on Saturday. It will be an informal meeting, but all residents on the island are encouraged to attend.

McGuire said he will be at the Jan. 14 city council meeting to speak during public comment about the need to make the island safer.