Event promoting Community Patrol group canceled after concerns of Police Chief, others

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By ANTHONY FLORES

An event promoting the creation of a local community patrol was canceled June 5 after citizens complained on social media and to Liberty Hill Police.

Event organizer Larry Diffey of Liberty Hill, said the need for creation of a community patrol group was in response to recent civil unrest in Austin and areas near Liberty Hill.

Diffey’s initial Facebook post for the event has since been removed, but the private group page remains. Comments on the post, which he shared on various Liberty Hill public group Facebook pages, were tense with many contributors in disagreement with a need for such a group.

Amanda Young, one who commented on the post, said she believes it’s an overreaction and sends a negative message to local law enforcement.

“I think the community should be much more concerned about armed neighbors overreacting over nothing,” she said. “Creating a group like this only tells our local police department that we don’t have faith in their ability to protect us.”

Before being deleted, the post said the effort was in response to “violence and destruction as close as Cedar Park. There is a strong possibility that as the more populated areas ramp up response forces that the BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Antifa (an anti-fascist political movement) groups will be doing hit & run type destruction on outlying areas.”

In a letter posted on Facebook on June 4 — two days before the event was set at City Park — LHPD Chief Royce Graeter, addressed these concerns, saying, “At present, we have not had any indication of violence, riots or looting making their way into Liberty Hill. Should situations like these come about, we are prepared to handle the situation. We have a great, and very safe community, here in Liberty Hill.”

In response to statements in the Facebook post that some people felt encouraged violence, Graeter continued, saying, “Many have mentioned and been concerned with social media posts involving violence which were associated with the group. This is always discouraged, and I did communicate this earlier in my meeting with the group organizer.”

The Independent reached out to Diffey for comment, but he responded, “At this point, things have gotten so twisted around, I’d rather just not say anything else about it.”

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