Enforcement, not a ‘sting’
I had to laugh when I saw the title of the story "Activists behind traffic sting." A more appropriate title would have been "Activists behind making crossroads safer."
The true definition of "sting operation" is: "a complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care (especially an operation implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals)" (taken from dictionary.com).
The true definition of what’s happening on Oak Lawn currently is "traffic enforcement." There is nothing undercover about it. The police officers are in full uniform, in their marked cars and motorcycles enforcing traffic laws.
This is not a complicated confidence game being executed with great care. It’s the Dallas Police Department doing one of the duties they are paid to do and assisting with keeping us all safe. Pure and simple.
I certainly hope that the Dallas Voice isn’t becoming another supermarket checkout stand rag. There’s no reason to come up with a title like that one to sell papers because your paper is free. Let’s not make it an Enquirer or Star magazine; there’s no need for it.
Mike Lo Vuolo
Concentrate on crime, not traffic
My name is Rich Dweck and I am a current resident of the Oak Lawn area. I wanted to share my opinion on this issue ("Activists behind traffic sting," Dallas Voice, Feb. 6)) as I feel it’s important that we as a community get involved.
I am very happy to see an increase of patrol in the area. The question is, is having them on Cedar Springs really helping us?
The crimes that I know of happen on the back streets behind the bars between Cedar Springs and Maple. I live near the construction across from Kroger, and I can tell you that every time I go to get my mail outside, I have to look over my shoulder and make sure no one is on the street. I do think that that’s a terrible way to live.
Coming from the Village in NYC and moving here, I have issues with that because I expect to look over my shoulder there but not in Dallas. When you purchase a home for $325,000, I don’t think you want to feel like you can’t go to your mailbox at night!
When I moved in a year ago, a neighbor of mine had gotten broken into in broad daylight, and another neighbor was walking his dog and was held up at gunpoint, again in broad daylight. I had a friend stay over one night and he parked on Douglas. They smashed his window and stole his navigation system.
Another friend lived closer to Lemmon in a $300,000-plus townhome and someone broke into his home while he was sleeping, and tied him up at gunpoint, pulled a truck up into his garage and cleaned his entire house out at 5 a.m.
Getting back to the patrols on Cedar Springs, I think it’s awesome and will help some. But will it help the guy that got gay-bashed a block or two behind Black-eyed Pea? Side streets are where the patrols need to be, and they need to be in unmarked cars and so on.
When I went to San Francisco a few years back, I learned a few things about safety in the Castro. They had gay and lesbian cops patrolling as one way to help with any issues of people thinking that it’s a war against gays. They also had a neighborhood watch at night and people took turns patrolling the area.
I remember I was in a shop that sold some "fun stuff" and an officer came in and was talking to the owner about the next meeting they were having about safety and patrols. The owner said he was on duty last night, and I was amazed just what pride each and every person took in their area. They truly owned the Castro as theirs and they needed to protect it.
The cop was gay and that made it easier, I’m sure, as many gays have had years of issues with the law being biased and so don’t trust police. But some have issues with the law simply because they just don’t want to follow it.
No more spending in Dallas after ticket
I wanted to share what happened to me right after noon on Friday, Feb. 6 at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton.
I had just read about the traffic traps that were taking place in that area and was very mindful of that area. I had a green light in front of Hunky’s and headed toward Douglas. I had to almost stop because of the work being done at the former site of Crossroads Market and having to be sure that nothing was coming into that intersection since I could not see because of the construction equipment parked along the street.
Sure enough, here came a cop on a motorcycle pulling me over. I could not imagine what I was going to be accused of doing. He said that I had run a red light, which was impossible because of the situation I just outlined. It might have turned to yellow while I was going slowly through the light, but not red. By the time he had finished with me, there was a line of cars that they had pulled over. It is clearly a racket.
First of all, I am going to ask for a court hearing to present my case. Then, I am going to stop making any purchases in Dallas. I work in Dallas and commute in every day. I buy my luxury cars in Dallas. I eat 75 percent of my meals in Dallas. I buy expensive clothing in Dallas. I tan in Dallas, and even bring my dry cleaning to Dallas. I probably purchased 75 to 80 percent of my fuel in Dallas.
These purchases are all going to stop. I have told most of the merchants with whom I do business that they are going to see and feel a change in my buying with them and told them that it is because of the city of Dallas, not because of anything they have failed to do. I have no intention of contributing to making up the budget shortfall of the city of Dallas.
This area had better realize that this action is going to affect their business in a most negative way. I thought that the law enforcement was supposed to be going after crimes such as stabbings, prostitution, theft, etc. — not taking the general public for a cleaning.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 13, 2009.