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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    My 2nd Dallas Ride-Along - How has it gotten so bad?

    I just got back at midnite last night from my 2nd Dallas ride-along - It's like a grand criminology experiment gone terribly wrong. Big difference from riding in the suburbs!!!

    One of the hottest crime spots in Oak Cliff has some really magnificent homes that are as crime-infested and worthless as the gunky little homes and apartments down the street.

    Why would that happen? I think it's because crime was neglected and was let fester. people who have low tolerance for crime moved out, rather than standing their ground and fighting back.

    Now the people who have replaced them do not help the police - instead they hate and mistrust them because from their viewpoint, the police have abandoned them long ago (I think that's absolutely true in a way, because 50 years ago, the police did not try to build partnerships with the citizens there - they just excerted their authority as copsagainst the bad guys, which did not work... Think of how different it would have been for cops to have the sentimate and power of the entire community behind them, both in spirit and in practice as trained backup). But that wasn't done. It now seems out of control, or at the very least in a constant state of controlled tragedy and turmoil.

    All the police can do down there is provide triage. It's a place where police are concerned for their safety if they sit still in their cars very long, out of fear that they will be shot from a window, or by a passer-by, especially in the apartment complexes.

    It's a place where 10:00pm is the time neighborhoods wake up and flood the streets, get drunk, and start stabbing and shooting each other. We rarely saw it happen, we only see the aftermath because police are so scarce it takes 30 minutes to get to the scene, unless it's a very high priority call. Then they may get there in 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how the cars are dispersed from moment to moment.

    The police cannot protect anyone - they can only mop up the blood. That's why people are armed - The wrong people, because frequently there is no right side. It will happen again after the police leave, sometimes in the same spot on the same night. The "Broken Windows" theory in action.

    Perhaps it COULD have been stopped 50 years ago, but now I'm not so sure it can, not without 30,000 police officers and a lot of trust-building. Anytime you attack a problem like that with the wrong solution, by the time you realize it isn't working, it's too late.

    As I've said countless times before, look at Oak Cliff, then look at my town 50 years from now, whether you throw up artificial barriers to density or not - That's like solving the Space Shuttle's tile problem with bailing wire and duct tape.

    It seems that the only way to keep an area crime and blight-free for 50 years is to form strong police partnerships with citizens, and let the police enforce the LETTER of the law without giving them a lot of grief for writing your kid a ticket, or letting them arrest him when he commits a vandalism.

    Remember the Broken Windows theory: A blighted neighborhood starts with one broken window that goes unpunished, then two, then a successful burglary, then 10. If those are successful, then a bank robbery or two - Before you know it, good people are leaving, and crime-tolerant people move in. The more crime-tolerant they are, the more likely that they will commit crimes themselves. And so it goes in a big spiral circling the drain.

    And domestic violence. It's much more prevalant than anything else it seems. It has happened in my town at an increasing rate just over the last couple of years. Almost all of the murders on record in my little suburb have occured in the last 5 years, and all of them domestic violence, even murder/suicides. What the Hell is going on, what are we doing wrong, or not doing???

    It seems to me that much of the problem (except for DV) would take care of itself if we could just catch and punish our criminals, which doesn't happen often enough. Most property crimes go unsolved, unreported, or result in probated sentances or deferred adjutication when the criminals are caught.

    I think the "quality of life" issues like crime have a lot more to do with what the residents tolerate, and what they refuse to tolerate, than what the police can do on their own. There is strength in numbers, and the police need to act as managers to recruit strong allies in the community. Right now, they're largely on their own. I don't know how to do it - I'm not that smart. I just know it needs to happen.

    It seems that the sucessful neighborhoods have formed Neighborhood Watch patrols or Citizens patrols, but I don't know if that is a cause or an effect - Do successful neighborhoods naturally cooperate with the police, or are they successful BECAUSE they cooperate with the police? It seems to me that both are true.

    Many or most agencies have formed Reserve units, but not enough Reserves are applying, and who can blame them? Not enough paid police are applying - Not enough to compensate for the retirement rate.

    It has seemed to me for many years that the best course of action the average citizen can take is to get training and a CHL so you can arm yourself to protect your family wherever you go - And teach them to protect themselves. Power in the hands of the "good guys" is the ultimate in crime deterrent and eradication.

    It's real easy to say, "so what if the police didn't catch that vandal - I have insurance. They're doing all they can, and I can't do anything about it anyway." - Well, that's the first "broken window", and I just told you what you can do about it.

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  2. #2
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Why would that happen? I think it's because crime was neglected and was let fester.
    It's not like the cops said "screw this neighorhood." A scarce amount of officers working an excessive amount of calls for service with little to no time for proactivity, and a system that punishes the good guys, and gives rights to the bad guys. This is happening in neighborhoods all across America, not just Dallas. I'll tell you a secret though. Some of these "good people" people aren't willing to help make a difference when it comes down to it, or don't really want a change. Some want officers to snap their fingers and solve all of their problems in an instant. Problems that took years to become problems.

    Now the people who have replaced them do not help the police - instead they hate and mistrust them because from their viewpoint, the police have abandoned them long ago (I think that's absolutely true in a way, because 50 years ago, the police did not try to build partnerships with the citizens there - they just excerted their authority as copsagainst the bad guys, which did not work...
    When they don't help the police, they are hurting themselves. The system is not mostly meant for police to handle things alone. The system is meant to work if the citizen gets involved, and asks for the help of the police. People who think the police abandoned them are ignorant in thought, and are typically negative people, who contribute nothing to solving the problem other than to bad mouth law enforcement. You say the police did not build partnerships back then, but I disagree. Community-based policing has been going on in neighborhoods across America for a long time...long before it was "invented" and given a catchy term. Like the cop who stopped by a conveniance store where he got coffee at zero-dark thirty to talk with the employees and see if they are okay, and get information through natural conversation. The cops back then just didn't kiss the citizens ass like they're forced to do now.

    Think of how different it would have been for cops to have the sentimate and power of the entire community behind them, both in spirit and in practice as trained backup). But that wasn't done. It now seems out of control, or at the very least in a constant state of controlled tragedy and turmoil.
    I think the good guys have always had the support of the police. Ghettos all across America are in controlled states of tragedy. This is not new, it's been going on a long time....well before community-based ass kissing. Welcome to policing. We're the line between order, and anarchy.

    It's a place where police are concerned for their safety if they sit still in their cars very long, out of fear that they will be shot from a window, or by a passer-by, especially in the apartment complexes.
    Again, welcome to policing. This is a long, hard reality. The people acting out against their protectors.

    ...police are so scarce it takes 30 minutes to get to the scene, unless it's a very high priority call. Then they may get there in 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how the cars are dispersed from moment to moment.
    And Police are scarce everywhere. Right now, their is a serious shortage of law enforcement officer candidates across America. I wonder why? Could it be the low pay, the shitty work conditions, the politics, the brass breathing down your throat, the family problems it causes, the problems with your so-called friends it causes, shift work, rotating days and nights often, being under the microscope all the time, not being able to have a totaly enjoyable private life, the broken system, the health problems, dealing with the same offenders repeatedly, knowing you may get killed or seriously injured all for wearing a uniform trying to protect people, largely, who don't appreciate you, or what you do.

    Perhaps it COULD have been stopped 50 years ago, but now I'm not so sure it can, not without 30,000 police officers and a lot of trust-building. Anytime you attack a problem like that with the wrong solution, by the time you realize it isn't working, it's too late.
    It never could have been stopped 50 years ago, and it never will be stopped, even with 30,000 LEO's, and a lot of so called trust building. Here's some trust for you...all the time I am around large amounts of money, narcotics, and other situations which require extreme trust, that the average citizen takes for granted. I have earned my trust by doing this job. If you don't understand that, then you are ignorant. I don't see how they've attacked a problem with the wrong solution?

    It seems that the only way to keep an area crime and blight-free for 50 years is to form strong police partnerships with citizens, and let the police enforce the LETTER of the law without giving them a lot of grief for writing your kid a ticket, or letting them arrest him when he commits a vandalism.
    That's bullshit. No area is crime free. It's not possible. NO bad guy is going to say, "I can't break into this house, it's in a neighborhood watch zone, and it's a crime free zone." Also we cannot enforce the letter of the law without pissing off the citizens who's community-based ass were kissing. If it only it were as simple as you make it seem.


    What the Hell is going on, what are we doing wrong, or not doing???
    Who do you mean by "we?"

    It seems to me that much of the problem (except for DV) would take care of itself if we could just catch and punish our criminals, which doesn't happen often enough. Most property crimes go unsolved, unreported, or result in probated sentances or deferred adjutication when the criminals are caught.
    Criminals are caught...thousands every day, in fact. But by giving people a lot of individual rights and freedoms, and keeping a non-police state, and with a law enforcement shortage due to poor working conditions, how can you be expected to catch every bad guy? Most property crimes go unsolved because the citizen was too stupid to take preventative measures to avoid the crime. Oh, you left your doors unlocked, with your ATM card in the passenger seat, with your PIN number written on it, and a bad guy took it (this is a true story). Well, if your hard earned money was so important to you, how come you didn't have the common sense to lofck your doors, take your ATM card inside, and NOT write the fucking PIN number on the back of your card. See how well that goes over in a politically correct, community policing environment.

    ...the police need to act as managers to recruit strong allies in the community. Right now, they're largely on their own. I don't know how to do it - I'm not that smart. I just know it needs to happen.
    WRONG! That sums up your whole thought process, Chuck, and why it's wrong. You are a civilian, in the business world, and looking at this from a business management perspective. YOU CANNOT DO THAT WITH POLICE WORK. Our job is not to recriut anybody. Our job is to do our job. We have always been on our own anyway, when it comes down to it. Sometimes their's JUSTICE, and sometimes their's JUST US. I am not surprised you don't have a solution to the problem. And like most citizens, you want it fixed anyway. It's not that easy. If it was, it would have been fixed by now.


    It seems that the sucessful neighborhoods have formed Neighborhood Watch patrols or Citizens patrols, but I don't know if that is a cause or an effect - Do successful neighborhoods naturally cooperate with the police, or are they successful BECAUSE they cooperate with the police? It seems to me that both are true.
    If by successful neighborhoods, you mean, rich, then I say not necessarily do they naturally cooperate because of their financial status. Based on my experience, most rich people think the police are irrelevant, and have no use for them, except when they need them (see Hollywood). I do think they are successful because they cooperate though.

    Chuck, I recommend you read the following book:

    "Stoning the keepers at the gate- Society's Relationship with Law Enforcement"

    by Lawrence N. Blum, Ph.D.

  3. #3
    k-9max's Avatar
    k-9max is offline K9 Officer
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    My eyes hurt now after reading all that shit.


    Well stated term,
    YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.

    Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
    Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!

    As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked, Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!

  4. #4
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    It has gotten this way because man is inheritantly evil. Unless man decides to live in harmony there is chaos. There is no solution without total co operation. There is no total co operation. There is only us. Standing in the way.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Thanks Term, I guess I was kinda caught up in a hyper moment or something from seeing all that shit - What you say makes a lot of sense to me.

    Some of it was almost surreal, especially in the area where the crime and blight had infested those magnificant homes which you know at one time must have been an area for the social elite. It wasn't scary or anything like that, it was just more like a scene from twilight zone or the last Batman movie or something.

    It's not like I have any great solutions either - It seems obvious what NEEDS to happen, but how to make it happen I have no idea.

    And I definitelt agree about the pay - whenever you pay so little and ask so much, then naturally you're always gonna be short-handed and crime will fester. That's a political farce.

    Oh, and speaking of BS political rules, the new persuit policy is in place now... they can only chase for VIOLENT felonies. So I was asking, if you're following a speeder doing 60 in a 40... Is that considered a forbidden chase??? The answer was that they were scatching their head trying to figure that out themselves. What exactly constitutes a chase, versus just going faster that the posted speed?

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  6. #6
    BEB
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    Always one to have odd views, I'll toss in a quick 2. Though first I'd like to thank Charlie and Brad for a most interesting conversation.

    There are many elements to how a neighborhood goes from magnificent homes to blight and crime. The history of Harlem is an interesting study in how that cycle occurred there. (Fairly nice Wiki article on the history of the neighborhood http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem)

    More policing, even starting 50 years back, would have an impact, but would not have been a solution to the decline. Economic factors reshape the landscapes of cities. Government involvement in subsided housing and concentrated development efforts creates further balkanization of communities. The integration or isolation of people moving into the area by the existing inhabitants has a huge effect the future of the neighborhood: and as is so common in human events, the trend started by the first few affects everyone who comes after. Changing the direction of that stream before it becomes a torrent takes the involvement of many - police being a part - but only for what people will not or can not do for themselves.

    Unfortunately that's becoming a bigger part all the time.

    *clink* *clink*

  7. #7
    AITG is offline Master Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    It has gotten this way because man is inheritantly evil. Unless man decides to live in harmony there is chaos. There is no solution without total co operation. There is no total co operation. There is only us. Standing in the way.
    +1, to a point. I would change this to "Evil is inherant in human nature." No, not all people are evil. Yes, evil will always be a part of society, and good people have to understand that evil lurks everywhere.

    Cops realize this pretty early on. That's why you don't find cops who believe in world peace, disarmament, ending wars or any of the other popular liberal dreams about Utopia. As long as man is man, these things are impossible.
    If I wanted people to like me I'd be a fireman.

  8. #8
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    3rd Ride-out in Dallas

    I did my 3rd and last scheduled ride-out in Dallas last night - Very interesting!!!

    It was the very affluent North Dallas, so crime is probably about 1/10th as serious as South Dallas, but still we had some moments that I'd never seen in the 'burbs

    I actually was in the lead car on a felony traffic stop on the Dallas Tollway - Guns out, kid & girlfriend scared shitless, but it turned out to be his dad's SUV - They had reported it stolen 3 months earlier, but last night when an officer South of us happened to run his plates on TCIC, the kid found out what happens when you drive a SUV that your dad reported stolen without canceling the theft report.

    Then when his mom shows up to try to straighten out, he starts acting all tough and goes off on her in front of his girlfriend - Dork. I thought they were gonna have to re-arrest him

    Pretty much the rest of the calls were either false alarm calls, or BS shit from people who should have the numbers 9 & 1 removed from their phone.

    Again, though, the apparent lack of manpower was obvious compared with the burbs - It seemed like every call required a long trip across the sector - What a friggin' waste of manpower when a least 3/4 of the shift was spend driving to the call!!!

    Oh yeah - They seem to have virtually removed the Code 3 option, too.

    Well, in all 3 of the ride-outs I can see now a few reasons why the Dallas Police are having recruiting problems, and why they cast a "No Confidence" vote for Chief Kunckle:

    • A Strict No-Chase policy (only excepton: VIOLENT felonies)
    • Very limited Code 3 policy
    • Very limited TASER policy
    • Lack of manpower and too-large beats, which causes them to chase their tails all night.
    • A Bullshit "point" rating system, whereby cops are graded on the number of "points" - But a felony stop with a prisoner to transport = 1 point, which is exactly the same as the point given for a 5-minute traffic stop.


    Wow - just wow.

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