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Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld

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02/20/04  Dallas Gangs

The Mayor wants to make Dallas a better place.  I agree with this, but it can only happen IF we all put our priorities in order. 

A new stadium or bridge will not make this a better city.  Our city needs a major commitment from homeowners and the business community.  Houston, San Antonio and Ft Worth are years ahead of Dallas.  They take care of their streets, police and fire department.  In other words, they take care of  things that make a city work well. 

Thursday, I attended an interesting meeting where the topic was Gangs.  Detective D. M. McLuckie did a great job with her presentation.  Below are some of my notes. 

I want to remind you Dallas still does not have a Police Chief.  It is very important for Dallas taxpayers to get the best Police Chief in the country like when the DISD Trustees hired Dr. Moses.  We need someone with not only the respect of police officers but also the respect of the citizens in Dallas.  We also need to hire more police officers.  There is no excuse for not having more since Dallas has grown in the last 10 years.  Yet, the size of the DPD remains what it was 10 years ago.  There is something wrong with this picture.

1.  Gangs write graffiti as a way of communicating with each other and to advertise.  It is their way to let other gangs know of their presence.  When you see graffiti, call 911 and then the gang unit at 214/671-4264.  Take a picture of it, and then paint over the graffiti.  It must not be allowed to remain unpainted.

2.   Taggers are artists who write on walls but are not members of gangs.  On my way to the meeting, I noticed an example of this by the Jack in the Box on Marsh Lane.   There is SW Bell phone box that has some writing on it.  SW Bell needs to paint it.

3.   NW/Bachman neighborhoods have at least FOUR different gangs.  One is very violent.  An apt mgr. told us they have had several apartments broken into and this gang leaves behind their gang name on the walls.  New members are taught by older ones who many times are uncles, brothers, etc.  It is a way of life because many come from broken homes and see the gang as an extended family.

4.   Apt mgr's are encouraged not to allow them to live in their property.  It is also very important to contact other property managers so they do not hop around from one location to another.  Call 911 if you notice any suspicious groups gathering at odd hours of the day or night. Police assign more officers to areas with high number of 911 calls.

5.   DISD Police handle only problems that happen on school property.  This is good because it keeps crime out of the schools.  Thomas Jefferson High School on Walnut Hill has a 2/3 drop out rate.  Only 1/3 graduate.  What do these dropouts do?  How can they become productive members of society?  We need for churches and business leaders to offer some type of mentoring program to help these people have better lives.

After the meeting, I spoke briefly to Detective McLuckie
.  She told me they are doing all they can with the 10 officers they have working in the Gang Unit.  Dallas needs more officers.  Ten full-time Gang Unit officers is not enough to take care of the entire city. 

Dallas may become the most attractive place for gang members that are kicked out of other city's from around the country.  

The area south of my neighborhood has 60 apartment properties with 10,000 units.  Many of the 50,000 people who live in that area are poor illegals who work hard for their money and are victims of crime.  It is a known fact they do not report to police whenever they are victims of crime.  The majority carry cash all of the time.  They fear banks so they walk around with  hundreds of dollars and make easy targets for getting cash.

Drive around the city, especially around Bachman and see what a mess we have.  Then ask yourself what you can do to make things better.  Are you going to continue being the problem by not holding our elected officials accountable or will you do something? 

               Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8