National Night Out took place on August 6 at the Coupland Depot and was very well attended, despite the early August heat. Shade and a good breeze goes a long way when temperatures hover around 100 degrees.
After a period of greeting old friends an making new ones, Barbara Piper, President of the Coupland Civic Organization, introduced a few folks who took a little time to share news and information and otherwise reach out to the good people of Coupland.
Deputy Matt Kreidel, of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about security and preventing fraud. He reminded people to lock their homes and vehicles and to clear their mailboxes. He talked about email scams on Craigslist and suggested that instead of using debit cards in public (like at a restaurant) you should consider using prepaid credit cards. He mentioned the grandparent help scam, where people call grandma, pretending to be a grandchild in trouble, and get the hapless elder to wire money to them. These scammers often get personal information from Facebook and other social media and make excuses for why they don’t sound like themselves.
County Commissioner Ron Morrison (4th precinct) said, he could have gone to other places for National Night Out but that he had a warm spot in his heart for Coupland because he got 75 percent of the vote in Coupland in the last election. He got a good response when he went on to say, “You’re not the largest city in my precinct but you’re the newest.”
Morrison chimed in on the security theme. He said he used to be a used car salesman and he knows how car sales are done. He said that if you are selling a car on Craigslist, make sure you meet the potential buyers in a public place.
Pete Correa, Commissioner Morrison’s Executive Assistant, attended the event but did not speak.
Coupland Fire Chief, Tracy Gardner, spoke about people burning trash and brush. He said that if someone complains about a fire, such as when smoke is blowing into people’s homes, the fire department must put it out. He said that they also have to put out controlled burns if they can’t find the land owner.
The Coupland Fire Department rolled out a few fire trucks, to the delight of all the kids at the event.
Jerry and Arlene Kaufman, volunteers from the Victim Assistance Unit of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about their work. Jerry described themselves as “first responders for emotional support.” He said they provide emotional support at a crime scene so law enforcement personnel can do their job. He reported that they have 40 volunteers on the team and that they may be called out by the Sheriff’s office, fire departments, or municipal police.
Kaufman said they always need new volunteers and that volunteers usually work only one day per week. Click on their Williamson County Victim Assistance Unit website page for more information.
Food for the event was provided by the Civic Organization. Becky Sutton made the delicious chili, which nicely complemented the grilled hot dogs. Several folks baked cookies.