Southwest Patrol Division Deputy Chief Rick Watson has been a member of the Dallas Police Department for 31 years. He was promoted to the deputy chief position in 2006. The officers of the Southwest Division have the responsibility for providing public safety to 175,000 citizens. The division covers approximately 75 square miles and is comprised of numerous neighborhoods, business districts and retail areas. It encompasses the Oak Cliff neighborhood, reaches north across Interstate 30 covering part of the Trinity Greenbelt and east to Highway 67. It stretches west to Mountain Creek Lake and Park and south to Duncanville, so that the northern tip of Cedar Hill State Park as well as Mountain View Community College and Dallas Baptist University are part of its jurisdiction. Approximately 290 police officers and civilian employees are assigned to the patrol division. In 2007 the officers of the Southwest Patrol Division responded to approximately 98,000 calls for service and the division achieved a 5 percent reduction in offenses. In 2008 the Southwest Patrol Division, with the help of the citizens in the division, has again achieved a 5 percent reduction in offenses as compared to 2007. Currently more than 100 crime watches and neighborhood associations are in the Southwest Patrol Division. To find out if there is a crime watch in your neighborhood, contact the Southwest Neighborhood Policing Office at 214.670.6792. The officers in this unit can tell you if there is an active crime watch in your area, or if not, how to start one.

In the coming months Deputy Chief Watson will be responding to questions that readers send in regarding crime topics. Send your question to