The following is a facebook.com posting about the research done by the newly-formed task force in our neighborhood looking for a solution to the recent criminal activity in the neighborhood:
After the Annual meeting on Oct 27 and a long discussion on the recent crime spree, a small task force of concerned homeowners was formed to investigate the options to enhance the security in our neighborhood. This posting aims to summarize the findings and outline the options for Prestonwood East.
The research examined both the Enhanced Neighborhood Patrol (ENP) program offered by the Dallas Police and 3 private security firms. Based on the findings, the best option available for increased security is the ENP which is a program that places an off duty Dallas Police officer in a Dallas Police vehicle in the neighborhood for the number of hours we specify. The assigned officer has full police power, will not leave the designated patrol area. This is like having the “beat cop” back in the neighborhood, something DPD has not been able to provide in years due to staffing issues.
For the ENP to be meaningful and effective, 40 hours of weekly coverage is the minimum which would cost $23.33 per month ($280 per year) per home ASSUMING a minimum of 300 of the 528 homes in PEHA participate. The more houses that participate – the lower the costs. If we have less than 300 houses participating, the cost would be higher OR patrols would be less than 40 hours.
The 40 hours would likely vary from week to week, but focus mostly during overnight hours and mid-day which are the two windows where the most criminal activity occurs.
On Next Door.org, there are many comments regarding this topic, please take a few minutes to read them to understand how important this is to your neighbors. We must find out who is interested in an ENP at this level of cost. In the next week, some of your neighbors will be coming door to door on your street to talk to you about this in person understand your concerns and answer any questions you may have. Please consider whether you would or would not participate at the $280 per year ($23.33 per month) cost so that we can see whether we have something approaching the critical mass of 300 participating homes.
**This concludes the facebook posting.**
Safety News, Spring 2016, from Nina Vassei
The Dallas Police has stated that overall property crime is up about 5% to date this year, compared to last year. Burglaries are up almost 11 percent, pushed upward by a surge in residential burglaries. Thefts have risen nearly 6%. Violent crime is surging in Dallas – up 27% overall compared to last year’s crime numbers, as of this spring.
In the first few months of 2016, PEHA has had quite a bit of activity – two home robberies and two cars broken into – one on the street and the other in the alley.
We need to all help prevent crime in PEHA by doing these simple things:
• The Dallas Police have stated many times that a “Bright Neighborhood with Porch Lights keep most criminals away”. Please keep porch lights and other exterior LIGHTS ON to keep our neighborhood safer.
• Avoid leaving newspapers and packages in front of your house
• Take in all of your belongings
• If you see something, be sure you have good information such from your cars. Any items left noticeable are an open invitation and attract criminals.
It is very IMPORTANT to call 911 for ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY at all times as license plates, description of person, clothes, etc. The Dallas Police would rather you call and come out to investigate than to have a crime occur.
Don’t be a stranger —- get to know your neighbors across the street and the alley so we can all look out for each other and make our neighborhood a safer place.
VOLUNTEERS-IN-PATROL (VIP) –
Have you seen a car with a PEHA VIP sign driving around? These are PEHA neighbors who volunteer a few hours a month to monitor for unusual situations. When they see something, they will call you but we need the correct information in our database to contact you. Please provide up-to-date telephone numbers at the Contact Us page on www.pehaweb.org and let us know if you are interested in becoming a VIP! We are looking for MORE Volunteers to be a VIP!
**End of Spring 2016 Message from Safety Vice-President**
One of the major concerns of all PEHA homeowners is SAFETY
To ensure that our homes and families are safe, our Vice President of Safety monitors and enforces the appropriate zoning and city regulations relevant to traffic, parking and other safety concerns affecting the neighborhood. Safety is also responsible for coordinating with Crime Watch, the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Fire Department and City of Dallas Parking and Street Departments.
If you see anything that is unusual or suspicious, call 911 immediately.
PEHA has a Crime Watch group staffed by Volunteers-in-Patrol (VIP) who drive all the front streets and back alleys of the neighborhood in teams of two looking for open doors/windows, open garage doors, and any unusual activity. It takes about 2 hours to complete monitoring of the entire neighborhood.
- VIP will call the homeowner/resident to alert them of the situation so that action can be taken to prevent any unsafe event from occurring.
- To do their job, PEHA must have up to date contact information of all homeowners /residents. Ensure that your contact information is completely provided on your annual membership forms and notify PEHA Membership if your information changes.
PEHA Safety encourages anyone who would like to volunteer to be a VIP to contact the VP of Safety to enquire about the training sessions offered by the Dallas Police Department. Only people who have taken the official DPD training may become a “VIP”. This is a great way to give back a few hours of your time to the neighborhood when you and a qualified (trained) friend can patrol at a convenient time suitable to your schedule. Contact Dallas Police Officer Mark Lutz if you are interested in VIP training. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
National Night Out (NNO)
Each year, Texas celebrates National Night Out in October when the weather becomes a bit cooler while the rest of the United States celebrates in June. Each block organizes activities like – Meet and Greet, Providing Hot Dogs or Pot Luck food dishes to encourage the whole block to come out and meet neighbors who live in your “Circle” of neighbors. Meet and get to know the people to the left and right on your side of the street, and the houses across the street. Hopefully, adults, children and pets will be able to know their neighbors better!
Other Safety Information
- You can get a ticket if you park cars in the wrong direction on the street. Please inform your visitors also.
- During bulk trash “pick up” week, do not park cars in front of bulk trash. If the trucks cannot get close to the bulk trash because of where your car is parked, they will not pick up the trash and you will get a fine for keeping bulk trash out. If this happens, call 311 for a pick up (see Zoning tab)
- It is a City of Dallas violation of a parking regulation to park cars on the street for more than 24 continuous hours in the same location.
PEHA communicates Safety information, alerts and tips in several forms, be sure to check the following:
- Next Door.com: a website focused on homeowners associations where you can select the HOA’s you want to connect with. If you are only interested in PEHA, set filters accordingly.
- Facebook: see Prestonwood East Homeowners Association page
- Email blasts: be sure that we have your email address in your membership profile information.
House Number signs on back alley
To ensure that VIP patrollers and emergency services (Police, Fire, EMT) can find your house, we ask that each homeowner clearly post the house number and street on the garage or back fence of the house. It is preferred to use the RED signs as shown and these can be ordered by contacting PEHA (see Contact Us form).