INGLESIDE, Texas — The pandemic has ceased much around the world, but the Ingleside Police Department wouldn’t let their community engagement project end that easily.
“Had an aneurysm so it's kind of got me where I can’t have a lot of drive anymore," Ingleside resident Dale Bietendorf said. “They just showed up at my door one day and said we want to come out here and help you with your yard. I didn’t know that was going to happen.”
Bietendorf was initally skeptical after hearing the offer from the police department. But sure enough, officers showed up at his house Monday morning and got right to work.
IPD is helping as part of the Ingleside Community Assisting Residents Everyday Project, or I-CARE Project.
It started before the pandemic, but police chief Tammy Burr says they’ve recognized the need remains.
“We get to interact with our community again and that’s an important part of our job just being out there knowing — let them know we’re not only here to come by and arrest the bad guys and issue tickets and all of that good stuff," Burr said. "But we’re out here to help. That’s what we’re here for and we want our community to know that.”
Unable to do yard work, Bietendorf's backyard had grass and weeds that had grown chest high.
“It means a lot," said Bietendorf. "I used to be able to take my granddaughter out there, but after the rains came and the grass popped up like this, I can’t keep up with it. She’s been pretty much locked in the house all the time because I can’t bring her outside. She’ll jump on that trampoline for 30 minutes to an hour.”
IPD is helping those that need it, senior citizens, disabled vets or whoever needs it. They’re helping out with minor household chores. At Bietendorf's home, even Ingleside ISD students are helping out.
“They are so gracious," said Burr. "They’ve baked us cookies and brought us things to the PD. Just doing what they can to thank us for what we did for them. But it’s just all about a community coming together. This is not just about the police department.”
Burr said they are always accepting volunteers for the program. If you know someone that is in need of some help, you can contact Ingleside police at their non-emergency number, 361-776-2531.