Low attendance prompts Kinser to end meetings, switch to e-mail only
Grant Kinser, coordinator of the Oak Lawn Heights Neighborhood Association and Crime Watch, said he has quit scheduling formal meetings in favor of e-mailing newsletters to residents.
The Oak Lawn Heights crime watch area is bounded by Cedar Springs, Wycliff, Maple and Inwood streets. The group formed in September 2005.
Kinser said he spent hours preparing for meetings but failed to attract enough interest from residents to justify the work.
“The police department would show, and we might have a speaker who would show,” Kinser said. “The people who actually live in the neighborhood only two would show.
Kinser said it became obvious to him that the crime watch group would never take off.
“I’ve read if you can have at least three people to come to crime watch then that’s something to hold on to,” Kinser said.
Kinser said he wants to continue his efforts to help reduce crime in the neighborhood and plans to do it through his e-mail newsletter. His newsletter will contain information about recent crimes in the neighborhood and tips about reporting crime, he said.
“Dallas still tops number one in crime in the country, and the police simply aren’t going to be able to do it all by themselves,” Kinser said. “They need to be able to depend on people who are willing at least to call anonymously to 911 and report things they’ve seen.”
Kinser said he plans to encourage residents to report crimes and suspicious behavior they observe in the neighborhood. In recent weeks a woman reported being raped and a young girl reported a man involved in lewd behavior, he said.
“It’s real important to report the crime,” Kinser said. “They’ll know when to beef up patrols in certain areas, and they will do it.”
Kinser said callers who report crimes should persist if they feel the 911 operator is not responding appropriately. The caller should ask to speak to a supervisor or call the police substation directly and ask to speak to a desk supervisor.
“Tell them you called 911 and you might have experienced some attitude,” Kinser said.
“Ask for extra patrols. You can ask for that,” he added.
The Oak Lawn Heights neighborhood is patrolled by officers from the Northwest Division. The central Oak Lawn area is patrolled by the Central Division.
Kinser said he now has about 50 names on his e-mail circulation list. He said he would not share the addresses, nor would anyone’s e-mail address be visible to another reader.
To join Kinser’s circulation list, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 28, 2006.