Archive for the ‘Police’ Category

Congrats to New Dallas Police Chief David Brown

April 28, 2010

I am so proud of Chief Brown as he has been named Dallas’ Chief of Police. He really cares about neighborhoods and getting rid of crime. I have always looked up to him and admired his courage. He does not play. Congrats and much love to the new Chief!

In addition to being a graduate of product of South Oak Cliff High School, he also has an MBA. He worked his way through the police ranks in Dallas.

Chief Brown also requested his new First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato get the chance to work in City Hall, as Chief Brown did as an Assistant City Manager. Chief Brown is already mentoring and setting up the future; THAT’S a leader!

I wish Chief Brown the best as he becomes Dallas’ top cop. The appointment is well deserved.

Full Press Conference Video from CBS 11

The Six Finalists for the Next Dallas Chief of Police

March 8, 2010
H/t to Rudy Bush from the DMN on this one:
The finalists for chief are:
Art Acevedo, Austin chief of police
David O. Brown, Dallas first assistant chief
Robert L. Davis, San Jose, CA chief of police
Daniel V. Garcia, Dallas assistant chief
Floyd D. Simpson, Dallas assistant chief
Robert Crump White, Louisville, KY police chief

Public Meetings to Discuss the DPD Police Chief Search

January 26, 2010
There are two neighborhood meetings left at which the City of Dallas will be gathering input from residents and business owners for the process of selecting a new police chief. Residents and business owners can also take an on-line survey.
The link to the survey is here.
The last two meetings are listed below:

January 26, 2010 (tonight)
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Beckley-Saner Recreation Center; 114 W. Hobson (map)

February 2, 2010
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Walnut Hill Recreation Center; 10011 Midway Road (map)

Farewell Lt. Carlton Marshall

January 4, 2010

Tomorrow, DPD Lt. Carlton Marshall is retiring from the Police Department.  His story has been chronicled     on this blog as well as all over the country.   Here is a Channel 8 story covering the LT’s retirement.  We thank you for your service and dedication, and for your wife who has stood by you every step of the way.

Farewell to the Chief

November 13, 2009

After five years, Chief Kunkle is stepping down as Dallas Police Chief.  This is a time of mixed feelings for me.  When somebody does a great job, you hate to see them go. However, you have to be happy when a person gets to leave on their own terms.  In my interactions with him, I have found him to be honest, straightforward, and accountable.

Some Police Chiefs previously in Dallas and across the country are often not in their blues, have drivers, and seem to enjoy the notoriety of being Chief more than actually doing the job. Not our Chief; I’ve never seen him out of uniform. 

He was responsive to the community and to city leaders.  Chief Kunkle didn’t put his finger in the air to check the temperature before he commented or made decisions on officer-related incidents or other issues.

I also don’t believe that he upset the entire rank and file with some of his decisions. One of the toughest jobs of a Chief is to discipline your own officers, and like any work situation not everyone will be happy with such an action.  Banning the chokehold and ending high-speed police chases has saved lives.  It’s a fact.

I do think there should be a search for a position such as Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Manager, and other high-ranking positions.  That being said, there are several candidates within the department that are immediately part of the discussion to be the next Chief should they decide to apply. 

The measure of a good boss, or Chief in this instance, is often shown in the people he has promoted in other positions of leadership.  Chief Kunkle leaves the department in great hands.  Promoting Chief David Brown to First Assistant Chief after he did a stellar job leading the Northeast Division, Deputy Chief Sherryl Scott as the leader of the South Central Division (formed under Kunkle’s watch), and having great people like Lt. Craig Miller as the head of homicide are just a few instances of Chief Kunkle having an eye for leadership.

I don’t believe anyone was being intentionally slighted with respect to his announcement.  It doesn’t change the fact that Chief Kunkle is retiring, and it’s not about focusing attention on yourself.  This was the Chief’s moment, and I’m sure that everyone was notified within the proper timeframe. The last thing that I would want to see is this hiring decision being politicized in some way.

Chief Kunkle often showed up at places you wouldn’t expect like city budget meetings and other functions, and would engage citizens even when it wasn’t required of him. While he has a reputation for always being serious, he has a great sense of humor if you ever get to talk to him.

The last time I saw him was at a restaurant near downtown. I was with a buddy that wanted to meet him, and even thought he was in the middle of his lunch he took a few minutes to talk with my friend.  I bet that’s the part he’ll love best: to be able to sit down and do the simple things in life without interruptions.

I can’t see him retired for long.  But for the five years he was in Dallas I was glad to call him Chief; he earned the title in every way.

Video of Lt. Carlton Marshall’s Extreme Makeover

October 19, 2009
The Extreme Makeover episode featuring DPD SWAT Team member Lt. Carlton Marshall aired last night.

Having been to the hospital when a officer is killed, I’m still grateful for the actions of SWAT Team Doctors Dr. Alex Eastman and Dr. Jeff Metzger.  They saved Lt. Marshall’s life when he was shot during a raid.
As you know, Lt. Marshall is now working out of the DPD’s South Central Station.   I couldn’t think of a better person to receive such a blessing. Watch the episode.
Link to video

Lt. Regina Smith – Pure Inspiration

October 12, 2009
I waited through the evening to watch the news tonight on CBS 11.
The lead story focused on DPD Lt. Regina Smith, wife of slain officer Senior Corporal Norm Smith.  She had a comfortable position working in Chief Kunkle’s office, but she has made a change.  Lt. Smith has gone back to patrol in Southeast division, on the same streets where you could often find Norm Smith.
The story also said that she is trying to collect $3,000 to buy the gang unit a ballistic shield. These are the shields you often see in raids that protect officers from shots from handguns, shotguns, and machine guns.  Maybe there’s a good Samaritan out there that will donate the funds; just a thought. A Level IV shield would work just fine.

If she can continue the fight, so can we.

Extreme Makeover Chooses Lt. Carlton Marshal for New Home!

July 10, 2009

Lt. Carlton Marshall, who was shot in the line of duty in October 2007, has been chosen by ABC’s Extreme Makeover for a new home! The home is being built as we speak.

Cheldan Homes is the builder that is involved with this project. This is one episode that we’re really looking forward to watching!

My Current Take on Southwest Center Mall

June 29, 2009

A lot has been written lately about Southwest Center Mall. A $120,000 study has been commissioned and presented. Shawn Williams wrote an article for DMagazine. Numerous editorials from various newspapers have been published. I’m not sure if people are going to like what I like to say about the mall, but that’s life.

I’ve been writing about the mall since I started Dallas Progress.

One thing that has to be done, no matter whose feathers get ruffled, is to face facts about the area around the mall. The area around the mall is in shambles.

I don’t feel safe in this area; that is why I have decided to move my family from this neighborhood. The main reason that stores have left is one of the same reasons that I am leaving. All of the writing, trying to expose various issues in this neighborhood, has been for naught. We still don’t get the proper help over here.

Some may feel that I am giving up on this area. All I can say is that I lived it.

All of the police attention in this area goes to the neighborhood east of 67 which includes the Chaucer Place neighborhood. Of course, that is inside the South Central Police division which is led by the magnificent Deputy Chief Sherryl Scott. The west side of 67 (Marvin D Love Freeway) is a different police division.

The only time we had any type of consistent patrols was when Pastor Rickie Rush put together an informal patrol of hundreds of men and dozens of vehicles from IBOC Church. They were the best security we ever had in this area.

While we spent $120,000 for the study of the mall, my buddy Shawn Williams gave you a lot of similar insight for the $5 cost of DMagazine. The study does go into more depth, but the basic premise is the same.

My take is a little different. I feel that putting a lot of money into the mall, and only the mall, is a mistake. When you look at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) study (warning: this is a 15MB PDF so it may take time to download), it draws comparisons to Prestonwood Mall. I can understand that; but what it shows is that the two areas are starkly different in terms of income, worker traffic, and spending power. Instead of the city putting $50+ million (as it has been suggested) into one shopping mall, I would rather it gets spread through a bunch of small centers all over southern Dallas.

With respect to Southwest Center Mall, several opportunities were missed. We know that the retail moved to Cedar Hill. It moved there because the city didn’t support former Councilman James Fantroy’s attempts to revitalize the mall between 2003-2006. For example, he tried to put a new Target and a movie theater in and around the vacant JC Penney space to jumpstart redevelopment but the numbers wouldn’t work without city help. As a result, Inland Southwest began to develop a new center at Hampton & Wheatland which includes the Target store that opened in March of 2008.

Some have suggested that we should consider turning Southwest Center Mall into an outlet mall. However, our chance at the outlet mall opportunity has come and gone. In the past year,Grand Prairie snagged an outlet mall that will be next to I20 & 360 owned by Prime Outlets (the same owner as the one in San Marcos), and another got announced for another city farther north (Irving, I think).

You will never get the income parameters you need to bring the stores that you want until you solve the number one problem around the mall. Again, it goes back to neighborhood safety. You have to start the revitalization by tearing down of some of the apartment complexes in the area.

All of the good businesses are leaving the Mall area, most of the reason is that the business owners and potential customers are constantly robbed and assaulted by criminals in the area. As an example of the issues around here, Pizza Hut won’t even deliver to apartment complexes in our neighborhood.

Some apartment operators work to maintain their properties, keep gates in working order, and make sure that they don’t house criminals. Many do not.

One way these thugs get around background checks is to date a female with a decent job and get the apartment in her name. Then, the thug moves in and here comes the crime. The girl then is scared to kick him out because she has been threatened to keep quiet, and the apartment complex does nothing about it. This happens more than you think.

Some of the worst offenders in the area are below. The good tenants are held hostage in the complexes by the thugs and crime element that certain owners refuse to eradicate.

(the crime numbers for 2009 are from January 1st-June 29th)

  • Whispering Hollow – 6910 S Cockrell Hill Road (100 crimes in 2008, 52 in 2009). Owners are based out of California.
  • Redbird Trails – 3636 W Red Bird – again, the owners are based in California. There is always a line of cars outside the gates because they are always broken. Usually a lot of people walking in and out. You can see the drug traffic.
  • Arborstone – 6500 S Cockrell Hill Rd (58 crimes in 2008, 26 in 2009). Check out this stellar review from apartment ratings.com:

I wouldn’t recommend this place to my worst enemy. First off, there is always trash and broken bottles everywhere. People sit outside and drink beer and smoke weed and nobody does anything. Maintenance doesn’t fix a thing.

They will fix the easiest thing that needs to be fixed and leave the other things broke.

The security guards are a joke. They had some really bad ones before that just flirted and hung out, but now they have “invisible” ones that you never see. Oh, except from when they are sleep in their cars. The office staff are not helpful at all, the only one worth something is Deon who works on the weekends. The manager is mean and could care less about the residents. They can’t answer your questions, you have to keep calling to get any help, they don’t listen to you, but they are quick to put a notice on your door about the smallest fees like a $2.00 fee. I am writing a formal complaint to the owners.

People say they were improving because they evicted some of the drugs dealers here, but what about the other things. The crazy man who walks around and harasses the women in building 11 and 10 whenever he hasn’t taken his pills. The random gunshots. The half man/woman hooker that does its business out of the empty apartments. You mean to tell me I know all this and the office staff doesn’t. So sad. I cannot wait until my lease is up so I can move

Other complexes should also be considered. A check of the crime records or apartment reviews will show similar reports. They include:

  • Park Village -7575 S. Westmoreland – Dallas, TX 75237
  • Harbors – 7550 S. Westmoreland – Dallas, TX 75237
  • Cielo Ranch – 3829 Gannon Lane – Dallas, TX 75237
  • Broadmoor – 3900 Investor Dr – Dallas, TX 75237
  • Brookfield Apts – 4060 Preferred Pl -Dallas, TX 75237

Add in the motels along I-20, and it adds up to a recipe for disaster if left unchecked.

The model for this area should be based on what was done along Skillman. Yes there is a TIF called Skillman Corridor, but most of the developments received no TIF money. In fact, the only major development that received funding was the Lake Highlands Town Center ($23 million for a $350 million development). The total amount of non-TIF related development in this area: $300 million.

Retail developers will return once they see strong signs that the area is changing. Until then, we’ll be writing these types of articles and blog posts for years to come.

Arrest in Chané Waldron Case!!

April 10, 2009

As you may have heard, there has been an arrest in the murder of Jessica Chané Waldron.

The low bail is very troubling to me but all we can do is leave it up to God and the justice system.

Lt. Craig Miller of DPD and head of the homicide unit, couldn’t have said it better.

“It’s just a tragic loss of a life and so much potential.”

I can’t thank the Dallas Police Department enough, and to the person that gave the tip…a whole lot of people are grateful to you.