After my guest column “Help Put East Dallas to Work” appeared in the Advocate’s December issue (page 7, just in case you saved a copy), the Advocate offered me the opportunity to write a monthly column dealing with activities taking place in the Police Department’s Central Division, which includes Old East Dallas.

In this column, there will be no dramatic, detailed accounts of crimes, I’ll leave that to big city reporters. What I hope to do is keep you informed of things going on in your community that the Police Department is involved in.

Community Policing and Weed and Seed

Interactive Community Policing is a grass roots effort by neighborhoods, businesses, churches and government agencies to address crime and quality of life issues in neighborhoods. The idea is to attack crime from an additional front, to deal with problems which contribute to some crimes instead of reacting to crimes after they have occurred.

Chief Ben Click strongly supports the community policing concept and has started ICP in all six patrol divisions.

One sergeant and four police officers in the Central Operations bureau were reassigned to work full time on ICP duties. Because the goals and objectives of Weed and Seed and ICP so closely parallel each other, one of the primary objectives of the new ICP unit will be to focus activities in the Weed and Seed targeted area – our neighborhood.

This benefits Weed and Seed by providing manpower for the “Weeding” and benefits ICP by utilizing the current community input through the already established “Community Advisory Committee” and “Community Revitalization Committee.”

I have been assigned to coordinate Weed and Seed activities with the Interactive Community Policing unit at the Central Operations Division. The ICP unit is supervised by Sgt. Wayne Antrobus and includes Officers Victor Lozada and David Beideck working during the day; and Officers Tom Raley and Tom Sible working the evening hours.

Sick of Graffiti?

Last October we were offered the opportunity, by the University of Texas at Arlington, to apply to become Program Partners with AmeriCorps-UTA. Our application for two AmeriCorps Member Volunteers has been accepted by the University.

AmeriCorps is a national service program similar to the Peace Corps. The services provided by volunteers in this program address the needs of education, public safety, human services and environment within urban and rural communities in America.

On Feb. 1, AmeriCorps volunteers will begin to develop a graffiti abatement program in the Central Operations Division. The two members, working out of Central Division’s ICP Unit, will be responsible for planning, organizing and implementing a volunteer-driven program to address the removal of graffiti from public and private property in targeted neighborhoods.

Note the phrase “volunteer-driven program.” In other words, we’re going to need your help collecting resources from paint to painters. If you have any suggestions please call me at 670-4420.

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