Death of police officer should raise question

What more can we do? Here’s a good column I just got around to reading about the officer shot and killed Tuesday while serving a warrant at an Oak Cliff apartment — in it, Steve Blow ponders the “bitter irony” of the juxtaposition of last Monday’s announcement about lower crime numbers with news one day later of an officer’s slaying.

Earlier the same day Senior Cpl. Norman Smith was killed, I had met with Deputy Chief Thomas Lawrence, the new commander at the Northeast Division, regarding an unrelated article. When I brought up crime numbers, he expressed some strong feelings about numbers and statistics and their inability to adequately reflect quality of life — his purpose was, in part, to point out that at some juncture, crime numbers in our neighborhood won’t be able to decrease further, they’ll get as low as they can go, but that we can (working together) constantly make improvements and make the community better and safer. It’s not always about the numbers, but it’s about what affects us day to day and how we feel about where we live. It’s sort of the same thing Blow writes in the aforementioned piece. He talks about the preventative, service-oriented ways we can choose to respond to a tragedy such as the death of officer Smith. Writes Blow, " … when crime leaves a city in grief, everybody ought to ask what more they can do."
A memorial page has been set up for those who care to leave a message for the fallen officer and his family.

Details about services—Funeral at 11 a.m., Friday at The Potter’s House, 6777 W. Kiest Blvd. in Dallas; Burial to follow at Restland Memorial Cemetery at Greenville Avenue and Restland Road

By |2009-01-08T12:01:00-05:00January 8th, 2009|Crime, News|2 Comments

About the Author:

Christina Hughes Babb is publisher and editor of Advocate Magazines. Email chughes@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/chughesbabb


  1. Jeff Siegel
    Jeff Siegel January 9, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    This is one of my pet peeves — the way the mainstream media in Dallas labels neighborhoods. To The Morning News, everything south of the Trinity is Oak Cliff, just like everything east of downtown is East Dallas. Drives me crazy.

  2. ericthegardener January 9, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Most importantly, Norman Smith sounds like he was a good guy, fighting the good fight and my heart goes out to his family and fellow officers.

    But would the location of his murder really be considered Oak Cliff? It appears to be a couple of blocks away from Interstate 45 which is far east of what anyone I know would consider Oak Cliff.

    I know the DMN seems to use “Oak Cliff” as a catch all for everything south of Interstate 30 but should a blog about Oak Cliff do the same?

    Here’s a link to a map of the location the murder occurred:


    Regardless of whether or not the crime occurred in Oak Cliff it’s a story we should all be concerned about.

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