Sharon Boyd, Editor/Publisher

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09/15/03  Response to Citizen D

Editor's comments:  DallasArena.com will never be a chat room, but you are encouraged to submit meaningful contributions (sometimes responses) on issues that affect our lives in the DFW area.  Partisan debates will not be part of DallasArena.com, unless Ron Kirk runs for office again.

Citizen D is at it again.  I want to respond simply because so much of his opinion is based on misinformation and/or wrong assumptions.  As a DPD officer, I like to hear from citizens to keep me aware of misconceptions and varied viewpoints in our city.  Thanks for supporting a forum on DallasArena.com for free exchange of ideas and constructive dialogue.  

Now, down to business . . . .  Citizen D's are comments in red. Mine are in black. 
Citizen D:
   There is not a nickel's worth of difference in Officer CS's positions and mine.  
    First, THANK YOU to Officer CS for clarifying the number of officers needed.  I knew it was off, but I had NO IDEA of how really bad the ratio shortfall really is -- number of officers to 1,000 citizens.  Based on this information, I agree it is a miracle that Dallas is as safe as it is.
   As usual, the council, MisManager, and the "Managed News" have conspired to make sure basic information citizens need to make a good decision is kept from us.  
   I DO NOT think voters are stupid!  We would have voted for tax increases to keep pace with the real costs of running a quality city IF we had been honestly informed along the way.  Now after years of hiding the truth, we are reluctant to trust anything that comes out of City Hall.
   DallasArena.com readers, please know Officer CS and I are 90% in agreement.  As for the 10% where we currently disagree, I assure you we are 110% committed to making it better.
   Thanks for this forum!

Citizen D,

I appreciate you voicing your concerns.  I hope to gain your support so together we can achieve our common goal for a safe and prosperous City of Dallas.

09/10/03  More Comments on Bolton and DPD

"Crime has risen in Dallas because the Council has REFUSED to allow the chief to hire the additional 70-100 officers that all of the national indexes say a city the size of Dallas should have at the very minimum!   

I agree
, but your numbers are a little off.  In order for the Dallas Police Department (DPD) to even come close to matching the recommended ratio of officers to citizens, the DPD would have to increase its size by 1200 to 1500 officers.  In other words, the DPD should have 4500 officers, according to the City Charter.  Currently, we have about 2800 officers, and only about 650 of those actually answer calls and work in Patrol. 

There are less than 100 officers in Traffic.  Phoenix (roughly the size of Dallas) has 150 traffic officers on motorcycles.  150 on motorcycles alone!  That is 5 times DPD's motor-jocks.  To anyone who will listen, I've pointed out Dallas could make a huge addition to the budget by hiring putting more officers in Traffic.  One officer can write 50 tickets in a shift.  If the average ticket is $50 (modest, but easy on the math), and the officer works a full month, the income would be $40,000 a month per officer.  That means that an officer, which costs the City of Dallas $60,000 a year, would bring $480,000 to the City coffers.  

Am I missing something here? A single officer could bring a $420,000 profit to the City.  Aside from income, how about lower insurance premiums and better air quality for citizens? 


Technology helped better track of the reporting part better than ever.  

Unless I'm mistaken, nothing has changed in the last 5-10 related to tracking crime.  The numbers are more accessible to the public thanks to the internet. DPD doesn't track them any differently.  

Consider this:  5 people are robbed at gunpoint at the same time by a single male.   5 robberies?  No.  DPD reports 1 offense to the FBI.  The other 4 are "no-coded" to the 1st offense.  Although 5 robberies actually occurred, 1 robbery gets reported.  As an patrol officer, I must write 5 offense reports.  Seems we should count them all.

Even worse, some administrative staff got new police cruisers while real cops were forced to used older and sometimes questionable cars. City mismanagement lied to taxpayers and kept police cars on the street beyond the national standard mileage and years, so they could lie to Council (who should have known better anyway) and claim we could balance the budget at the cost of the safety of our "protectors".  Wow!  Not a good decision! 

How correct you are!!  My current squad car has about 72,000 miles.  This is very low in comparison with my fellow patrol officers.  My old beat car had 114,000 miles. This may seem incredibly new to you, but consider that this car is run about 15 to 16 hours a day - every day.  My squad car is a 2000 model and doesn't accelerate well.  The suspension is questionable and brakes are a joke. Maintenance and parts are done by lowest bidder.  This is the vehicle  you see speeding past your family as we chase down violators.  Oh, and we don't dare sit in the car while it's parked.  It tends to explode when hit by distracted  or inattentive drivers.

Police officers are scarce for neighborhood patrols but plentiful for "OFF DUTY" assignments in shopping centers, grocery stores and neighborhoods that can afford to pay double time. . . .  But, let's get real!  If our police do not have the time and resources to patrol our not-so-rich neighborhoods, our parks and maintain a positive and apparent presence, then THEY DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO DO EXTRA DUTY  WORK!  Especially with the City's uniform, gun, badge and patrol car in many cases!  They should use their own guns and vehicles and were their union T-shirts.  Moreover, our residents and business people ought to be using private security companies until the DPD is able to give us the "basic" service we pay for in the first place! 


We've been over this ground before, but I'm willing to revisit it. You are correct in some of your points, but flawed in your assumptions.

  • Patrol Officers don't have time to patrol the neighborhoods, parks and "maintain a positive . . . presence."  We run from call to call to call.  If I'm lucky, the dispatcher will let me make a traffic stop on a questionable vehicle in route to my call.  

    At times, the lieutenant over communications will not allow "routine mark outs" (anything not related to 9-1-1 call answering) until the calls are answered, i.e. no real police work, no drunk drivers, no burglars, no car thieves.  Just running from one side of the division to the other in order to quell drunken family squabbles.  

    I'm not talking about family violence. That's important.  Do you think you should pay me $20/hr to tell a 45 year-old son not to talk back to his 59 year-old mother because at the ripe old age of 45 he hasn't learned it's her house and her rules. I don't think so.
  • What City owned equipment is used in an extra-job?  An over-priced pair of pants and a shirt?  I bought my badge in the way of a $19.97 user fee. I bought my own gun (two of them).  My duty gun cost $985.00, and my back-up cost me $450.00.  The City wanted their issued gun back so they could give it to a new recruit.  

    I pay to maintain my own uniforms which rip at the slightest movement.  My duty belt was purchased from my own pocket because the City issued belt caused back problems.  By the way, I've spent over $1200.00 this year on work related items.  

    I spend money on my own practice ammunition because the City will not provide it.  Ironically, if I was a horrible shot and failed my pistol qualification (minimum score of 80% is required), the city would provide me with one box of ammo each month and all the free coaching on shooting that I wanted.  Sadly, officers who need the extra practice rarely take advantage of it.  I never score less than a 95% on my qualification.  Your family is safe with me. Armed suspects are not safe.  But I'll still be paying for my own practice to make sure of that.
  • Extra-jobs that use a squad car are required to pay the city for the use of the car.  (They use squad cars I wouldn't sell for scrap.)  There is no extra-cost to the city. In fact, the city gets reimbursed for a vehicle which isn't otherwise used.
  • It would be cheaper for businesses and residents to simply pay a small tax increase than use either private security companies or pay off-duty police. More money in the coffers means more officers on the streets. More officers on the streets means lower response times. Lower response times lead to more active, aggressive patrol of the neighborhoods. Crime goes down.
  • "Basic service." You are paying for basic service now. Basic service means I spend eight hours running from call to call.  I'm paid the basic rate and don't work less because of this.  I care more and want Dallas to be great again.  

    I work with some officers who would not be police anywhere else. Their laziness, ignorance and lack of professionalism would get them fired at any other department.  With the DPD, they are tolerated because they are desperately needed.  Higher pay would bring the best recruits to Dallas. And keep them here.

Why are we giving raises to a group of City employees who do not even live in the city limits?  Over 85% of uniformed police and fire officers do not live in Dallas!  That should really bother you as a taxpayer!  

Aside from residency not being required, I don't want to live in Dallas. It's not safe.  I do my best to leave Dallas safer than I found it each day.  I also can't afford to live in a decent neighborhood.  But again, we're back to pay.

More to the point, over 75% of Dallas voters said NO to the 17% raise that they demanded after they REFUSED the Council's offer of 5-5-5 over 3 years.  Why did Council go against the voters' mandate and offer any raise at all -- especially in light of budget shortfalls? 

Without the pay raise, the quality of recruits would be even lower.  Derrick Evans would be the norm, not a rare exception. There are still too many borderline "Officer Evans" in the DPD.  Until the pay is raised to a comparable level to surrounding communities, the level of recruits will continue to flounder.

Bottom line, Bolton is gone and he will be OK.  Unfortunately, Dallas will not. 

Yes, Dallas is not okay. Bolton made it horrible. The elephant in the living room had been removed.  Four years of his by-products have not. The stench of his "leadership" is still here. There is still a lot of work to do. Let's work on that.

 

                                        

    





                            

 

  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