Ask A Cop

We've had a lot of discussion on our blog lately about the perception of crime in Oak Cliff. Our neighborhood doesn't have the city's highest crime rate, but there seems to be a stigma. Why do you think that is?

I tell you, I thought long and hard about this question. We have our share of offenses here in Oak Cliff just like any other part of the city. But for some reason, people think the crime here is worse than in other places. I think it’s been something that just has carried over from back 10 years ago or more when, yeah, it was bad. So some people are scared to come to Oak Cliff, and I just don’t get that. Right now, we are down 11 percent in overall crime, year to date. So we’re going in the right direction. Last year, we had an overall reduction in crime of 9 percent, and the year before that it was 5 percent. Each year, it has gone down. When there’s an offense that occurs anywhere here in the southern sector that’s newsworthy, unfortunately, we get “murder in Oak Cliff.” And sometimes people forget that Oak Cliff is not just the Southwest Division. There is a large part of Oak Cliff that is on the east side of 35. Then there’s the southern part of Oak Cliff — the deep part of Oak Cliff, that’s still part of Oak Cliff, but it’s the Southeast Division. Oak Cliff is a huge area, and it gets painted with a broad brush. [Dallas Police] Chief [David] Kunkle lives over in the M Streets. Their crime is higher over there than it is here. But you don’t really hear about that as much. I really don’t know what it would take to change the perception for people to think that Oak Cliff is as safe as fashionable North Dallas. We’d just about have to come up with no crime. Now, if you become the victim of a crime, then it’s not going to feel so safe to you. We do have some incidents of home burglaries, and that’s one of our biggest problems here, because it’s a residential area. But it’s a safe place to live, it’s a safe place to work, and it’s a safe place to come and shop.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.
Written By
More from Laura Baker

From Cop To Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream was the furthest thing from Military Police Sgt. Eric Conde’s...
Read More