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Jorge Torres, Jr.

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Below is a list of some of the problems Arcadia Park currently has. It seems that Arcadia Park is a microcosm of the City of Dallas and its problems.

2003 Dallas Police Crime Statistics

Beat

Murder

Rape

Business Robbery

Individual Robbery

Aggravated Assault

Business Burglary

Residential Burglary

BMV Related

Theft

Auto Theft

Total

425

1

2

4

9

62

15

53

35

52

49

282

Division Totals

Beat

Murder

Rape

Business Robbery

Individual Robbery

Aggravated Assault

Business Burglary

Residential Burglary

BMV Related

Theft

Auto Theft

Total

426

1

0

2

5

8

15

12

57

27

56

183

Division Totals

Total crimes this year: 465

Arcadia Park is the community East of Walton Walker (Loop 12), dissected by W Jefferson and W Davis (West of Oak Cliff, East of Grand Prairie).

Arcadia Park is made up of two Police beats 25 and 26.  City Council Dist. 6.

1.) Lack of neighborhood police patrols: (in a high crime area like Arcadia Park)

Solution: Increasing neighborhood police patrols would deter some common crimes:   auto theft, burglary, etc.  

Police patrols would also make the community "feel" safer and make criminals wary of speeding down neighborhood streets (even in front of the Elementary School), drinking and driving, playing very loud music, random gun shots, petty theft, vandalism, littering, destruction of public property.

A police officer told me the reason they cannot concentrate on one neighborhood due to the volume of calls, which brings up another problem and a lot of questions.

Do we need more police officers? 
Can the city afford to hire more? 
Will the cost of hiring new officers cost more than the effects of crime on the city? 
If Dallas stays on top of the crime bar, will businesses go elsewhere? 
Will Dallas lose millions in tax revenue? 

My answer is to hire more Police Officers and increase their pay by a good percentage.  Offer more incentives and benefits to Police Officers, which would likely boost morale. Hiring more police officers would relieve some of the strain that they feel everyday.  Every officer puts his or her life on the line daily for the citizens of Dallas. 

The regular beat cop is fighting the "homeland terrorism" that plagues our city.  After all, what else can you call drive-by shootings using machine guns and killing innocent people?

2.) Lack of action from the City of Dallas:

Solution: More often than not, the City of Dallas has failed to take action on obvious problems in Arcadia Park.  Some citizens and so-called businesses in AP have code violations that run 20 pages long, which have not been settled for years.  Some examples:  

  Abandoned factory located in the center of AP.  This "factory" has downed fences, surrounded by discarded tires and garbage, located about ? block from our Elementary School.  Unknown hazards exist in that building. 

Absence of painted cross walks for our elementary School. There have not been any for some time now. 

Tree branches grown into the power lines.  Almost every block in Arcadia Park has this problem. 

Vegetation covers traffic signs through out the neighborhood. 

Abundance of homeless cats and dogs that roam the streets. 

More action from the City of Dallas in the form of hard-lined consequences to code violators would make the environment a cleaner safer one, which could have the potential of attracting businesses like Exxon, Subway or Whataburger and dissuade crime at the same time.  Wal-Mart, Lowe's and other businesses have moved in all around Arcadia Park, just not into Arcadia Park.  We would like to walk to a nice store for a change.

3.) Ask what you can do for your hood:

Lack of interest the community has for itself.  At one PTA meeting last year held at Arcadia Park Elementary School where about 600 students attend, only about 10% of parents showed up.  The President of the PTA was elected because no parent chose to volunteer.  Most PTA?s have a policy that the President must have children that attend the school.

Toppled stop sign, either torn down or run over.  I expected someone living near it would report the "hit and run" of the red traffic sign, but no one did.  The sign lay there providing service to the sky.  After a couple of weeks, I called it in. The city managed to erect the sign to its given duty but failed to straighten out the green panels with the street names.  I guess that?s how they make them now on curved streets.

The community of Arcadia Park must rise up and take its neighborhood back! We must raise the standard and not let complacency wreck our future.

4.) Elected Officials, here and there:

All elected officials must change their approach to these issues.  The city is going to hell, from our tax base to our City management. 

How much longer can Dallas go on driving down the freeway way with threes flat tires and only a dim headlight? 

The Mayor must change her ways and adopt a "Giulianiesque" approach to things:

A.    Surround yourself with great people.
B.    Have beliefs and communicate them. 
C.    See things for yourself. 
D.    Set an Example. 
E.    Stand up to bullies. 
F.    Deal with first things first. 
G.    Loyalty is the vital virtue. 
H.    Prepare relentlessly. 
I.     Under-promise and over-deliver. 
J.    Don?t assume a damn thing.

As the Mayor of New York, Giuliani reduced the murder rate 67% in eight years. Now New York has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.  Laura Miller should take the words of Giuliani to heart, 

"I tried to run the city like a business, using business principles to impose accountability on government. Objective, measurable indicators of success allow governments to be accountable, and I relentlessly pursued that idea." 

Laura Miller must "clean house" as Arnold Schwarzenegger puts it.  Even if it means hiring new people and ousting others who over-promised and haven?t delivered.  The citizens of Dallas cannot afford to have incompetent people in positions that involve running a police department, especially when the crime rate is so high.

Before Mrs. Laura Miller became the Mayor of Dallas, my Father discussed our neighborhood problems in Arcadia Park with her over a cold glass of water at our house (she was thirsty from walking the neighborhood).  We haven?t seen her since.

Jorge J. Torres

                                        

    





                            

 

  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