Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
Dallas Police target three apartment complexes Saturday for crime-reduction effort.
On Saturday, Dallas police officers fan out by the dozens into three adjacent apartment complexes they know quite well. Officers respond to assaults, burglaries and theft at the complexes in the 3500 block of Timberglen Road. Saturday they're initiating the contact.
"Do you know your neighborhood patrol officer?," Marty McManus, a public safety officer, asked a tenant.
McManus is among those going door-to-door asking tenants what kind of crimes they see, if they ever report them and what the response is like. It's a chance to talk, without flashing lights and crime scene tape around. This is important, as police say 10 percent of the people help by reporting crime and trying to prevent it, 20 percent are committing the crime and 70 percent do nothing about it.
Getting that 70 percent on their side is proving to be a challenge. We saw a number of people refuse to take the survey or not even answer their door, but those who did told us they're glad to see police doing this.
"I thought it was a good thing seeing them get involved other than seeing them behind a squad car," said tenant Scott Ortega.
"One of the key factors in reducing crime is to have that community involvement, so what we want to do today is get the community involved," said Deputy Chief Jesse Reyes. "Not only in soliciting that information but helping us reduce that crime."
People who opened their doors and took the time to hear that message tended to agree with it.
"If the community sticks together and knows that they're here to back each other up, I think that alone will reduce crime and knowing you know what this community sticks together. They're perfect crime watchers and maybe we should go somewhere else," said Ortega.