Crime in Dallas declined for the sixth consecutive year in 1994, and District 14 outpaced citywide statistics. Economic activity, reflected by building permits issued in the district, also increased from the previous year.
Dallas Police Chief Ben Click announced that crime dropped 37 percent during the past three years, and property crimes also showed a dramatic decrease.
Residents of District 14, which includes the M streets and Old East Dallas, experienced a decrease in crime of 11.6 percent during the year. Theft, stolen vehicles and residential burglary in our district was slashed by 25 percent. Violent crime in our area was also much lower – with double-digit decreases in rape and robbery. Aggravated assaults decreased nearly 9 percent. In 1992, there were 33 murders; in 1994 there were 21.
These public safety improvements can be attributed to the volunteers in our active crime watch groups and the police officers who work closely with us as partners against crime.
This fiscal year, the City Council increased police funding to double the size of our gang unit, which made 600 arrests last year. We have hired more officers to beef up neighborhood patrols and launch a new program to assign officers with specific beats in our residential areas. Our drug-enforcement efforts have been stepped up and resulted in 3,300 arrests in 1994.
Mobile police storefronts – recreational vehicles converted to house police communications gear and bicycle patrol equipment – are common sights in our neighborhoods. Every City patrol bureau has one, and more are on the way.
We worked hard for a federal funding request for inner-city programs. We were rewarded Christmas week with a $3 million Enterprise Community grant to be used for public safety, youth programs and business development. The area east of Central Expressway, south of Ross Avenue, and along I-30 to White Rock Creek is eligible for funding under this program.
More than $500,000 will go into our mobile storefront program to keep the units on East Dallas streets. Another $500,000 will be devoted to providing enhanced security at City recreation centers. Youth programs, including a two-year-job-training program, will be funded with nearly $1 million of the grant. Another $1 million will become part of a public/private partnership fund to pay for infrastructure improvements that will encourage private investment.
Economy Outlook On the Rise
Although crime has been on a steady decline, our economic prospects in District 14 are looking up. Building activity, as measured by the value of permits issued, has bucked the Citywide trend. In District 14, building permit values were up 6.5 percent in 1994 while Dallas experienced a 7 percent drop in permit values.
In our district, permits valued at $108.6 million were issued during the year compared to $101.9 million in 1993. District 14’s building activity was 10 percent of the City’s total construction.
We are poised in 1995 to continue the progress in combating crime and fostering renewed economic opportunity. This will make our neighborhood safer, increase our property values and improve our quality of life.
As always, please contact me by phone at 670-5415 or by fax at 670-5115 to share your ideas or seek assistance from your City Council office.
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