Christine Lee, Grand Prairie Reporter
Grand Prairie police designated a team of officers to concentrate their patrols on problem areas, and the city says it has seen real results from the crime crackdown.
Grand Prairie police said burglaries are down by double digits thanks to a new program.
The department designated a team of officers to concentrate their patrol efforts in targeted problem areas. IMPACT's goal is to decrease crime throughout the city, one community at a time.
Since the program began in January, police said residential burglaries throughout Grand Prairie dropped by 35 percent.
"The numbers were down about 57 less than what we had last month," Officer Trent Allen said. "Vehicle burglaries were down almost in half."
The IMPACT teams consist of a lieutenant, a sergeant and four patrol officers. With the program, there are four police officers in an area where typically one or two officers used to patrol.
"It's directed enforcement based off of real-time crime analysis in targeted areas," Allen said.
The IMPACT officers work on their targeted areas during a six-month rotation.
Business owner Penny Cumby said she is happy about the change in her neighborhood.
"We're happy with all the police presence," she said. "A lot of times when we are here at night and we close, they will be here, watching us and helping us."
Police actively engage with the community, stopping anyone who raises reasonable suspicion.
"We see them walking down the sidewalk, walking down the streets, traffic stops," Allen said. "We make a lot of arrests off of traffic stops."
Carl Smith, who has lived in Grand Prairie for 45 years, said he has also noticed that fights have decreased.
"They used to have problems with gang fights, different nationalities having conflicts," he said.