Tuesday, August 10, 2010
PegNews reporter goes patrolling for crime with Dallas police
I met a convicted murderer!
Now well into the Dallas Police Department’s “Operation Triangle,” cops are targeting robbery, property damage, drugs, and prostitution in specific areas of Dallas.
I got to go along for the ride as we patrolled the NW Highway and Harry Hines area, though we didn't get to bust any criminals. “It was a slow night,” said Dallas police officer Jorge Tinajero. It is too early to tell if the decrease in crime for the evening is a direct result of Operation Triangle, but the stats are looking good: There have been 195 less burglaries and 133 less robberies in the month of July, compared to last year. The most notable difference was theft, with 635 fewer reported cases than this time last year.
On our ride around town, we looked for basic traffic offenders or anything out-of-the-ordinary. Broken taillights, not signaling properly, and speeding were all targets. From there, police would make sure the offender was not intoxicated, possessing drugs, or had any warrants out for their arrest.
A suspicious-looking SUV, driving slowly in an empty parking lot, was one of Tinajero's targets. After searching the car and talking to the two passengers, the officer released them. It turns out that one was just teaching the other how to drive.
At one point, we stopped a man for walking in the right lane of traffic, next to a gravel sidewalk. (It's called "pedestrian in the roadway," and it is illegal.) After typing his name into the officer’s computer, we found that the man was convicted of murder in 2003. Tinajero let him go because he was legally released from prison about a year ago and has had regular meetings with his parole officer since. We left the convicted murderer on the dark back road, but he moved over to the sidewalk as instructed.
Tinajero also passed along these tips to keep anyone safe:
1. Always be observant of your surroundings, especially in dark areas.
2. Don’t take unnecessary risks if you don’t have to (like walking across a dark area to retrieve your parked car. Police are happy to assist.)
3. Carry cash, not credit cards. Kidnappers have been known to take people to an ATM and clean out their account. It is a better idea to just let the thief take a little cash and call the police.
Police involved in Operation Triangle are also focusing on the neighborhoods of Pleasant Grove, South Dallas, and South Oak Cliff. “Those areas can get pretty bad,” Tinajero said.
Operation Triangle continues for about another month. Then police are expected to reveal statistics that will hopefully show a decrease of crime in Dallas.
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