Truett Area Crime Watch met on March 23, 2009 at Truett Elementary,    1811 Gross Road in Dallas , Texas 75228 .

Fifty people from the neighborhood attended and enjoyed an evening of good news that included reports on the activity of the Ferguson Road Initiative and its Weed and Seed Program in our area, updated crime stats for our beat, and a special talk about personal safety when stray dogs appear to be aggressive.

Sr. Corporal Ron Carpenter told us that our recent record with the Dallas Police Department, Northeast Division, showed only five reports of criminal activity, among them a van broken into, a stolen license plate, and one burglary.  He repeated the caution to always respond to and speak to someone who knocks at your door, but do not open the door if you do not recognize the person.  Cut down on door-to-door callers  by placing a “NO SOLICITING” sign on your front door. Keep cars that are parked on the street or in the driveway locked and empty of personal possessions. Pay attention to all that is happening in the neighborhood every day and don’t hesitate to report anything that appears to be odd or suspicious.

Gail Washington, Gang Intervention Specialist for the Ferguson Road Initiative, then updated the group on gang activity in the area and her work in attempts to keep young people from joining gangs.  The activity of some groups has slowed which is one reason why  we are seeing less graffiti in the neighborhoods.  There is also an added effort to paint out the tagging quickly and this discourages that activity among the younger set.

We heard  from Kerry Goodwin, Weed and Seed Coordinator for the Ferguson Road Initiative, that our felony crime rate is down 20.35 % and our violent crime rate is down 35 %.  That was enough to get a cheer from the audience.  He also told us that we are the fastest growing group in the area and  one of the most active.

Tyrone McGill of Dallas Animal Services spoke to the issue of stray dogs in the neighborhood and how we might protect ourselves and our small pets when those stray dogs are aggressive.  Carrying a golf club or heavy walking cane when one goes walking is a good choice.  Mace and pepper spray may affect the one who is using it more than it does the aggressive animal.  Standing one’s ground is positive but difficult to do when there is fear of an attack by a large animal.   The best thing we can do is try to be aware of dog owners who routinely let their animals roam loose and call Animal Control to come and talk to those owners.  Responsible owners are the best safety device we can develop.

The evening ended with comments from Carolyn Davis, our City Council Representative, who told us that our requests for Ferguson Park , including a fence, lockable restrooms, and a walking track have all been approved.  The  posts are in already for the fence and City Manager Mary Suhm has given her approval for the walking track which has really become a necessity, not just a wish.  Ms. Davis also asked for our support in her upcoming campaign for re-election.  She has strongly supported our efforts and the efforts of the Ferguson Road Initiative to bring less crime, a cleaner environment, and more services to our neighborhood .

The meeting ended with a round of enthusiastic applause to thank the people from the City of Dallas and the Ferguson Road Initiative who have worked and continue to work hard to help us meet our goals.