Featured General October 2017 

Our Proactive Neighborhoods: What’s New for Town Creek-Forest Meadow Crime Watch?

The Crime Watch Advisory Committee:

The Crime Watch Advisory Committee, with fifteen Town Creek and Forest Meadow board members, meets monthly to manage our Extended Neighborhood Patrol (“ENP”) Crime Watch Program. The Advisory Committee monitors membership revenue, budgeted patrol hours based on revenue, the actual hours worked, the patrol shifts that are worked and the decrease and/or increase of crime in our area as a direct result of the hours and shifts reflected in the activity logs. To date, the Town Creek-Forest Meadow ENP Crime Watch Program:

  • Continues to be one of the largest in the city
  • Is the preferred ENP to work by DPD Officers
  • Continues to fill budgeted patrol hours with DPD Officers

Continues to deter major crime in our area, reducing our neighborhood crime to “crime of opportunity” (e.g., unlocked car doors, valuables left in cars, etc.)

 External Issues Not in Our Control:

You may be aware that the Dallas Police Department (DPD) is seriously understaffed.  The force is down about 20% from the planned goal of 3600 officers and in this fiscal year (1 October 2016 – 30 September 2017) they expect to lose 400 more officers and only hire 180 replacements.  For next year, the plan is to hire 250 to replace the 250 that the City estimates will be leaving — for a net gain of zero.  It will take years to recover. The issues in summary are:

  • Rising attrition due to problems with police & fire pension systems
  • More officers reassigned to the 911 call system
  • More officers assigned to the streets to reduce DPD response times

Unlimited DPD overtime (resulting in incentivizing officers away from ENP)

 VIP Action Plan:

To supplement our ENP program, the Crime Watch Advisory Committee is gearing up to implement a “trial” Volunteers in Patrol (“VIP”) Program in Town Creek and Forest Meadow. This WILL NOT replace our existing ENP Crime Watch Program — but will supplement ENP for a 6 to 12-month trial period. In summary:

  • VIP is trained, governed and encouraged by DPD
  • VIP trained citizens patrol their own neighborhoods in their own vehicles (aka “Patrollers”)
  • VIP Patrollers are non-confrontational but report suspicious or criminal activity directly to the police
  • VIP Patroller 911 phone calls are automatically given escalated priority
  • VIP partnership with our ENP sends a clear message that crime will not be tolerated

VIP provides a visible presence in the neighborhood as an additional deterrent to criminal activity

 Call for Volunteers:

To properly execute the VIP program, we need volunteers willing to be certified and to drive around our neighborhood for a few hours every month. If you are interested in participating as a Patroller, the process is:

  • Contact Officer Kevin Kelley (kevin.kelley@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us) to enroll, or
  • Contact Mark Duval (duvalmark@hotmail.com) with any questions
  • Register for the DPD training class (a 4-hour course over one weekend-day or two-weekday evenings)
  • Submit to a background check
  • Complete the training course and receive verification of completion
  • Receive a special VIP identification card
  • Mark Duval will coordinate Patroller schedules assigned to two-person teams per vehicle

The Patroller vehicle is provided a magnetic VIP sign and amber lights.

 Our Proactive Neighborhood:

You will soon see VIP vehicles roaming the neighborhood as a trial program to supplement our ENP Crime Watch Program. Our ENP Crime Watch Program will continue to schedule DPD Patrol Officers as usual.

You’ll be hearing more about VIP in the months to come, including, neighborhood interest in volunteering and any reduction in “crimes of opportunity.” Questions or comments, contact Mark Duval at duvalmark@hotmail.com.

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