When Ahwatukee Foothills News decided to start including a column in the newspaper, “‘Tukee Talk” seemed like a unique and clever name but the original Tukee Talks have been going on for years.

The Phoenix Police Department’s quarterly Tukee Talks are a chance for the public to sit down with officers who patrol the Ahwatukee Foothills area, ask questions and learn about different police-related topics. They’ve had presentations on DUIs, ballistics testing, introducing the chief of police, and more.

This month at the Tukee Talk there wasn’t an official presentation, but community members were given crime statistics and a chance to ask questions of local Community Action Officer Chad Williamsen and Community Programs Officer Sheree Lee.

Crime has been trending downward since 2010 when there were 1,660 total crimes reported in Ahwatukee Foothills. In 2011, 1,540 total crimes were reported. In 2012, 1,332 were reported. That trend is continuing this year with only 313 reported so far.

While overall crime rates may be going down, police encourage residents to remain aware. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity and can be prevented.

Phoenix also has some great resources for residents who are interested in increasing their own efforts. BOLOcop.com allows residents to sign up for alerts within their area. The alerts are “Be on the look out for…” and include missing persons reports and various other suspect descriptions. The program was started as Fax Net 1 in Phoenix in 1990 and has grown to help law enforcement agencies statewide. The program even has national recognition.

The Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol (PNP) program also helps block watches to enhance their patrolling. The program is a four-hour training. Once residents join PNP there are continuing education trainings they can complete for additional information.

South Mountain Precinct PNPers have their own website with information for all community members, PNP400.com.

While Tukee Talks are usually attended by PNP members the talks are open to the public. Williamsen and Lee said they’re open to suggestions for topics they should cover at the quarterly meetings. The meetings take place at Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St. In the past, officers have given a half-hour presentation and then turned the remaining time over for questions and answers.

For more information on Tukee Talks, visit phoenix.gov or pnp400.com, or send an email to Williamsen at chad.williamsen@phoenix.gov.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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