06/16/03 - FBI statistics indicate that Dallas is NUMBER ONE again in 2002! NUMBER ONE in total crimes per capita, NUMBER ONE in burglaries per capita, NUMBER ONE in robberies per capita and NUMBER ONE in arsons per capita among the largest U.S. cities with a population of one million or more. In fact, every year, for the last FIVE years, Dallas has ranked NUMBER ONE in total crime per capita.
WHAT ALL THIS MEANS IS.....EVERY YEAR.....FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.....DALLAS CITIZENS HAVE BEEN CRIME VICTIMS AT THE HIGHEST RATE IN THE NATION AMONG CITIES WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE.
For 2003, the Dallas Police Department has reported that the MURDER rate in Dallas is up 61.8% year-to-date this year over last (see above). If this trend continues, Dallas will be NUMBER ONE in murders per capita in 2003. To review the latest 2003 statistics, CLICK HERE.
Since the early 1990's, the crime rate in Dallas has trended upward while it has decreased in most other large cities. The only action taken by the mayor and the city council is a 5% pay increase for police and firefighters. The recent voter referendum to increase the pay for police and firefighters by 17% was flawed because it increased the pay for top police management, which was not popular.....nobody thought that Bolton deserved a raise. This gave Mayor Miller (with the assistance of her defeated opponent, Dunning) a last minute chance to speak out against the pay raise and insure its defeat. The referendum would have certainly passed had Mayor Miller not changed her position on the issue once she was elected. She had originally signed the petition for the referendum.
A pay raise for rank and file police is certainly a small positive step forward, but an increase in the number of police would be much more effective. Dallas ranks among the lowest in the category of "police per capita". You could double the number of police in Dallas and still not have as many "police per capita" as New York City.
Unfortunately, a pay raise will do little to reverse the crime trend.....Dallas needs more police.....MANY more police. The saturday night after the pay referendum vote, Mayor Miller made the statement "we love and support our policemen and firefighters and now that we are commited to give them a 5% pay increase in October, we can now turn our attention to the parks and streets". Crime problem solved.....on to the parks and streets!
BEAUTIFUL PARKS, WELL MAINTAINED STREETS AND SMOKE-FREE ZONES MAY BE IMPORTANT, BUT THEY ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS AND THE SECURITY OF THEIR PROPERTY. IT IS A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES.
The poor performance and cluelessness of the mayor and city council on the crime issue is a crime. It appears that the establishment in Dallas does not realize how severe the crime problem really is. NUMBER ONE in total crimes per capita, NUMBER ONE in burglaries per capita, NUMBER ONE in robberies per capita and NUMBER ONE in arsons per capita IS severe.....HELLO!
Mayor Miller.....city council......what are you going to do? WHAT'S THE PLAN TO REDUCE THE CRIME RATE IN OUR CITY? Improving parks, paving streets and enforcing non-smoking zones will do nothing to reduce crime. A criminal doesn't care if the park is improved, if the street is paved or if you are smoking a cigarette when he mugs you, robs you, rapes you, murders you, steals your car, drives to your home and burglaries it.
Let me put a face on a typical crime victim in Dallas. That face is me. I bought a condo on Holly Hill (Park Lane & Greenville Avenue) in the Vickery area of Dallas in the early 1980's for $90,000. When I moved into my condo, the area was vibrant with new condos, townhomes and apartments inhabited by young professional single people. In the mid to late 1980's, when the government outlawed single-only complexes, things began deteriorating.
Now in 2003, my $90,000 condo is worth $40,000. Until each owner spent $1250 to install a $25,000 eight foot high security gate, we had drug dealers selling drugs and prostitutes having sex in our parking lot. Each morning, we would find needles, condoms and douche bottles on the ground. When a drug dealer or prostitute entered our property we would call 911. When the police arrived, usually hours later, the drug dealers and the prostitutes had completed their business and were gone. The police apologized and informed us that drug dealers and prostitutes were low priority on instructions from the mayor and city council since Dallas had a severe shortage of police. The drug dealers & prostitutes are free to operate up and down Holly Hill with no fear of being confronted. So if you need drugs or an ugly whore, just come on over to Holly Hill Drive and help yourself, day or night.
My condo is located within walking distance of Northpark mall, the Dart station at Park Lane, the new Central Market, Presbyterian hospital, North Dallas, M streets, Lakewood, University Park and Highland Park.....some of the finest areas in the Metroplex. We have the highest crime rate in the nation in our city and our city government is more concerned about building stadiums, improving parks, paving streets, banning smoking, Caesar Chavez Day, the Trinity River Project, anything.....anything but providing the most important basic government function.....which is to protect its citizens. This is insanity. Something is very wrong here.
Mayor Miller, your heart is in the right place.....get your head in the right place! Ron Kirk's legacy left our city with the HIGHEST crime rate in the nation. Your legacy could be that you left it with the LOWEST. That is what the citizens of Dallas, who voted for you, expect you to do. Please don't let us down.
Calie Stephens - Editor
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