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

About Author



Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

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

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: The Daily’s 2023 Grammy Awards forecast📝: Samantha Thornfelt - @samthornfelt 🖼️: Isabella AlvaRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: Cost-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas for college couples📝: Xander Weems - @ntd_kcw 🖼️: Jazmine Garcia - @jazminesg_Read more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Bodyshaming celebrities can lead to internalized shame📝: Gianna Ortner-Findlay - @Gianna_NTDailyMedia 🖼️: Erika Sevilla - @jasperbeeeRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: 4 new anime to cozy up with this winter📝: Max Davis 🖼️: Felicia TshimangaRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@DentonCountyOEM: The Winter Storm arrived quicker than previous forecast. There are slick spots on the road, & multiple accidents reported. @TxDOTDallas & other crews are aware & treating roadways.If you can, PLEASE stay off the roads!(1/2)
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad