North Texas Daily

Dallas police let community down

Dallas police let community down

Dallas police let community down
September 17
14:00 2013

The hunt for the Fair Park serial rapist frequented news headlines recently, but in the frenzied reports of DNA matches and possible suspects, the community seems to have been forgotten.

When a crime is reported, whether it is burglary or sexual assault, it is the duty of authorities to respond in a way that will most benefit those in danger of further attacks.

The Dallas Morning News reported outrage from the Fair Park community as they questioned why the alert of nine total sexual assaults came weeks after the initial rape in June.

The Dallas Police Department claimed it was difficult to link the incidents without supplemental evidence. As soon as it was concluded that one individual was responsible for all the attacks, the neighborhood was informed of the threat.

This begs the question as to why a connection in the crimes was so necessary for an announcement to be made. The department communicated that one crime, one rape, does not constitute enough of a danger to notify residents in the surrounding area.

Apparently, it takes the violation of nine women to gather enough attention to call a press conference.

The rapes occurred in South Dallas, an area that is known to have high crime rates. The commonality of such events should not diminish their significance.

Denton is far from South Dallas in terms of crime, but the method with which the UNT Police Department responds to reports should set an example.

Community relations officer Cpl. John DeLong said when a Clery Act Crime is reported, a timely warning is issued to the university community through phone, email or news media. Clery Crimes include aggravated assault, robbery and sexual offenses.

DeLong said notification is required upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.

Ideally, every neighborhood would mirror UNT. However, this is not the case.

Ryan Grelle, Denton Police Department media relations officer, said, in general, departments face difficulty in timing media alerts, especially when tracking down sexual assault suspects.

“They don’t want the suspect to know the police department is on to them, so they keep it close to the vest,” Grelle said.

Officers have to play a game of strategy, weighing the outcomes of every move they make, and there will undoubtedly be positive and negative consequences for every decision.

But in each case, there is a victim, there is a criminal and there is trauma. The postponement of public police action in South Dallas allowed for a rapist to strike eight more times after the first attack. Eight more women suffered.

Alerts should happen immediately, even if notifying people to take precaution means losing a lead on a suspect. When police are determining if the timing is right for a warning, there should be no debate.

Melissa Wylie is a journalism junior. She can be reached at melissa.wylie@tx.rr.com.

About Author

Reporter

Reporter

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Social Media

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Junior wideout Jaelon Darden headlines as Conference USA announces All-Conference selectionshttps://t.co/sJcrQqgejg
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
RT @jazwriteswords: My last game covering women’s basketball for the Daily 👍🏽 https://t.co/kbJtr0JccT
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Letter from the Editor: Becky is signing out@RebeccaNajera42 's time as our Editor-in-Chief has come to an end.… https://t.co/Lj51rzLvhD
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
A Q&A with athletic director Wren Baker (@wrenbaker)by @ZacharyACottamhttps://t.co/6Q3BVD0SJH
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Women's basketball holds off the Ragin Cajuns, win 69-66by @jazwriteswordshttps://t.co/yxVsRwMSo4
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad