For 11 years, Dallas police have relied heavily on crime watch and community leaders to help maintain what they say is an unprecedented period of crime reduction. The Dallas Morning News says that strong relationship may be in jeopardy because of changes to a new records system that crime watch officials say has knocked the legs out from under them. They say the new system has taken away what they need most: details about crimes where they live. “This system is horrendous,” said Felix Saucedo, head of the Lakewood Trails crime watch. “They really dropped the ball on this deal.”
Police commanders say state law and technology issues limit the information they can now release to the public. Crime watch leaders and some City Council members say that's hogwash. With some crimes inching up so far this year, many say that having less information will eventually prove a threat to Dallas residents. “A neighborhood that is educated and informed is a safer neighborhood,” Saucedo said. “I can't educate and inform, which is my primary mission, if I don't have access to information.” The public reports portal used to list basic information about all police reports except sex crimes and juvenile victims' names. Those victims' addresses were listed as “withheld,” although broad street block numbers were still listed so people could see the general area where a rape occurred, and the basic description such as whether it was a date rape in a home or a stranger attack in the street.