Saturday, January 31, 2009

Once again, The Ft. Worth Police Department Fails (at the Taxpayer's expense)

For three years now, I have been spending hundreds of my personal volunteer hours doing the job that my opponent should be doing so that people like me, who live and/or work in City Council District 8, East Ft. Worth, can live, work, play and/or retire in a safe, clean, prosperous neighborhood in this great, beautiful City of Fort Worth.

I have sent countless emails to my City Council representative, Kathleen Hicks and other City Reps, spoken on the phone countless times with 911 operators, & Shift Supervisors, spoken personally with many beat police officers, Lieutenants, Captains, Sergeants, visited with many business owners around this Neighborhood, gone downtown to meetings about this issue with my Council Rep, gone to the Police Forums, gone to Town Hall meetings for the District, have even shown up at a few Neighborhood Association meetings, worked on Committees with the Mayors Advisory Commission on Homelessness, even pleaded with the Police Department to ENFORCE the criminal trespass law --10% of the time, they have enforced it.

I agree, Homelessness is not a crime; however, criminal trespassing is a crime.

Case and point: After much hard work, I got the District Attorney's office to approve me as a representative for my business neighbor's private property so that I could serve as the complainant on the Criminal Trespass warning that has to be written before one can be taken to jail for Criminal Trespassing. This letter, which I have faxed to the Captains that work this Division, authorizes the officers to issue a warning to perpetrators of the Criminal Trespass law. If the individual is caught on the property a second time, he/she goes to jail.

This tool works lovely because 99% of the individuals don't want to go to jail. It interrupts their druggin and drinking, so....they stay away from the area where they were given a Trespass Warning.
Problem is.....we as Business Owners on E. Lancaster cannot get the Ft. Worth Police Department to consistently enforce the law.
I called two nights ago on 4 people criminally trespassing on private business, posted property and requested that the Officers follow procedure and give me a copy of the trespass warning. Officers came out and did not issue a Criminal Trespass Warning. Nevermind that they gave tickets for drinking near a shelter, that's not the point. The perpetrators should have been issued a Criminal Trespass Warning along with their ticket for drinking w/in 1000 feet of a shelter.
The reasons that I have been given are the same reasons I've been given 100 times before: officer forgot, officers didn't know they were suppose to, officers aren't aware of the procedure, the Divisions are different now and we don't know the history, etc.

I have asked, pleaded, begged, along with several other Business Owners around E. Lancaster and we get NO CONSISTENT RESULTS!

What we do get is lip service from the Ft. Worth Police Department's Big Shots...(the ones who we taxpayers pay hard earned tax dollars to manage & lead their part of the deparment and to make sure the the communication flows up and down the Department) that there will be "zero tolerance" that there will be "community this and community that," I say that 50% of that talk has been nothing but BS! (Here in Texas, that means Bull Shit!)

I say, it's time that the people of District 8 elect a representative to the City Council office that really does give two hoots about what goes on in this District, someone that will actually advocate for, and expect change, someone that will hold all of those Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants of the Police force (whose salary is paid by the taxpayers) accountable to their words, someone that will actually get her hands dirty and not go along to get along in the bureaucratic game of politics nor go along to get along for fear of ruffling feathers in the name of personal political gain.

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