Monday, January 7, 2008

Why Fort Worth Needs a New Police Chief

Dear Mayor & Kathleen Hicks:

Once again I am writing you about the very same topics that I have been writing about in the past. Below are the facts of what happened on Saturday, January 5, 2008:

I placed a call to 911 -- 4 to 5 people criminally trespassing at 2101 Riverside Drive. (posted private property - call #S080051230). A few mintues later, the operator calls to ask the address again as the responding Police Officers found no such address. As has happened many many times before the dispatch operator had put in the call for SOUTH Riverside. I never said anything about SOUTH Riverside. I asked you months ago to please do whatever necessary to get the dispatch operators to QUIT putting in South or North Riverside when a call is placed. It is just plain Riverside Drive. This has been a problem for the two years that I have been heavily involved in making calls to 911 and it is STILL a problem. (Leadership Needed Now.)

#1 - the dispatch operators need to be told to quit assuming addresses

Not only were the people trespassing, they were drinking alcohol within 1000 feet of a shelter, I added this tid bit of information to the call.

Police officers arrive on site, Officer Tyler (#3663) calls me and asked me to walk over and sign the criminal trespass warning (while offenders were sitting there). This is absurd -- it is a public safety issue and furthermore, as I have said before, the whole written warning deal is not a part of the criminal trespass law. If a property is posted and somone crosses the line, it is considered a violation of the law. Officer Tyler did not know anything about the no alcohol consumption w/in 1000' of a shelter and didn't even know about the Salvation Army Shelter just down the block from the site. (Leadership Needed Now.)

#2. Educate the Police Officers on how to perform their jobs.

What is the point of us taxpayers paying money for all of the layers of beauracracy in the Police Department? What exactly is it that they do as I see first hand time and time again that on street level and at dispatch level, things are completely scattered, in need of leadership and direction.

Attached is a picture of the location of 2101 Riverside Drive. In the past two years, I have made more than 10 - 15 calls about this very location.

Lastly, why didn't I get a copy of the written trespass warning that was supposedly written to the individuals? I thought this whole trespass ordeal had been solved months ago. Why do I have to keep spending my many hours of volunteer time on educating the Police Department personnel on items that have been addressed, and to my understanding, resolved? The answer: because there is not strong leadership at the top which leaves nothing to trickle down to street level.

I would very much appreciate your help in handling this City Business so that I can devote more of my time to my own personal business and much less of the City's business.


Response from Kathleen Hicks, City Council Representative, District 8:

I am forwarding your complaints on Chief Mendoza who can respond directly to you.-KH

My response to Kathleen Hicks:

Mendoza has responded before and the problems are still the same. He hasn't been as good as his word; therefore, I don't have much faith in his words, I'd rather "actions" from people responsible for the duties of the Chief of Police and/or the Fort Worth Police Department. This type of lack of organization should be a concern to people who have any say whatsoever in how the Police Department functions which would be the Council and the Mayor for starters.


Chief Mendoza's Response:

Ms Watkins,

I appreciate your confidence in our Department. I say this because of your comments and compliments in regards to the actions of Capt Sudan who had command responsibility for this geographical area. I also say this because I have seen the action of our officers and have had numerous individuals praise their hard work in this area over the past year. In addition I have traveled thru this area and see a marked improvement over the trash ridden area I saw last summer.

I have never said we were a perfect Department nor will we ever be perfect. We will continue to strive to provide a quality service. With that said please be understanding when I say you have not been perfect as well. In your e mail dated January 1st, it would have taken little effort on your part to pay your employee and avoid the unnecessary call to our Department. I hope that you will be receptive to all solutions to problems.

In regards to this e mail and your e mail dated January 1, 2008 I will forward both to Captain Cordell. Capt Cordell will contact you in regards to setting up a meeting to discuss your issues.

In closing while I may not be your favorite Chief please know that I have done my best to protect you and the community. I will continue to do s until my last day at work.

My response to Chief Mendoza:

Mr. Mendoza -

Just stay on topic and answer the questions at hand:

1. Why hasn't the problem been solved of dispatch assuming South and North Riverside? No mention of such is called in when call is made and police officers being sent to the wrong address? This has been an ongoing problem for two years!?

2. Why don't our officers working this beat know about the new Ordinance of no alcohol consumption w/in 1000 feet of a shelter?

3. Why isn't there a Standard Operating Procedure for enforcing the Criminal Trespass Law?

4. Why are our officers asking us reporting persons to walk over and sign the ticket in front of the offenders? (I believe the City would be liable if we were to get shot while following those orders which we have discussed many months ago!)

Yes, Captain Sudan has cleaned up the intersection at Riverside & E. Lancaster. This particular email is not about those issues, which for now, have been resolved.

In regards to me paying my employee instead of making an uneccessary call to your department, payroll is not ready at 2pm on Sundays, everyone follows rules here at Riverside Kennel and will continue to do so. For me to stop and cater to a drunken employee and keep customers waiting would be a dis-service to our customers. By doing business that way, it wouldn't be long before we would be out of business which would mean less tax dollars to pay for the waste in departments like yours.

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