In today’s Voice I wrote about how the Cedar Springs Wycliff Targeted Action Area Grid (shown above) is currently the fourth-most-dangerous area of the city for violent crime. When I posted the link to this story on Facebook, one commenter asked a good question: What are the top three?

The answer is Harry Hines/Northwest Highway at No. 1, Forest Lane/Audelia at No. 2, and the Jefferson Corridor at No. 3. You can view a full list of the 26 Targeted Action Area Grids by going here. Roy Haskins, of the Dallas Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit, told me earlier this week that the Targeted Action Area Grid System, or TAAG, is seen as the latest and greatest in crime-statistic tracking because it’s based solely on where offenses occur, without regard to streets, City Council district boundaries, or police beats and divisions. The Cedar Springs TAAG is an excellent example, because it crosses two City Council districts (2 and 14), at least three police beats (545, 546 and 123), and two police divisions (Northwest and Central).

“We’re able to parse out and to really look at almost in a minute way, where the concentration of crimes are,” Haskins said. “In contact I’ve had with other analysts throughout the country, I don’t know of another major city that is using this approach. This is pretty unique.”

The TAAG system is based on sub-grids that are 1/16-of-a-square-mile each in area. Each TAAG is made up of between four and 30 of these sub-grids. In the case of the Cedar Springs TAAG, it is made up of 13 sub-grids, so it is just under 1 square mile in total area.

“Some areas are larger, and some of the areas are smaller because the crime is more condensed,” Haskins said. “Trying to make every area spatially equal would not represent a true density of crime patterns.”

Also, in conjunction with today’s story, I wanted to share with you a recent e-mail I received from yet another victim of a violent crime in the Cedar Springs TAAG. In this case, the robbery suspects were captured shortly after the incident. The suspects — Vince Rivas, 27, and Sherwood George, 48 — are shown clockwise from left below. To read the victim’s e-mail, follow the jump.


Hello. I am taking this brief moment to report to the Dallas Voice about an assault and robbery that occurred on Throckmorton Street between Hall and Rawlins, on May 7, 2009. A friend and I were walking home to our apartment from the strip, when a known hustler and addict, along with another guy, jumped out of a stolen car and attacked us.

As I watched in horror, held at the neck by the second scumbag, my friend was punched and knocked to the ground, kicked repeatedly in the head and about the body, in what seemed like an eternity but was less than two minutes.

As residents on a busy thoroughfare, (Throckmorton@Rawlins), we are all too familiar with the drug trafficking and prostitution that happens right outside are window. We like to think of ourselves as being aware of our surroundings. I have made so many reports from vandalism to theft of property in the year that we have lived in our condo, and to be honest it is tiring and frustrating.

The good thing is that they have been caught and we will heal, but the emotional blow seems harder to come to terms with. Why are people so cruel? I don’t think decent people can ever understand the motives of monsters, but at least in this case the monsters have been captured, and one of the tens of constant problem makers in our neighborhood is no longer a threat.

As I walked down the street the following morning to see if anything might have been left, I found a silver chain that my friend had been wearing, and a piece of bracelet that I had on. There on the sidewalk in the middle of our block, where my friend finally collapsed as I tried to help him two houses down to home, a pool of blood has dried in an obscene and sinister amoeba shape, brown and dead. As I studied this shapeless horror, in the fresh air of a beautiful day, I saw two more known hustlers coming toward me, and as they passed, asking me for a cigarette they saw me smoking, I thought this will never end.


Alive and lucky in Oak Lawn
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