Archive for category: TAAG

Dallas police booster groups donate $350,000 for crime-fighting technology

Categories: Featured Article, TAAG

(originally published by

Police Chief David Brown and philanthropist Toni Brinker of EPIC Dallas hold a novelty check for $350,000 on Oct. 1, 2013. Brown was handed the real check, which will go toward buying police gadgets, shortly thereafter. (Tristan Hallman/Staff)

Dallas police will get some new gadgets to combat crime in Lake Highlands after two police booster groups presented a $350,000 check to the department on Tuesday.
Safer Dallas Better Dallas, in partnership with EPIC Dallas, presented the check to Police Chief David Brown, who said the technology will be used in two high-crime areas: an area near Greenville Avenue and LBJ Freeway and the area around Forest Lane and Audelia Road.
Hamilton Park will also get a cut of the technology package thanks to a donor’s request, said Gary Griffith, president of Safer Dallas Better Dallas.
The money will buy about six to 10 surveillance cameras, bait cars, GPS trackers for the cars, and two or three automatic license plate readers, Griffith said.
Police have already deployed cameras around Vickery Meadows and Ross and Bennett avenues in East Dallas.
Brown thanked the group for its donation during an afternoon news conference and called technology “the changing face of public safety.”
Mayor Mike Rawlings and several City Council members also attended the news conference.
City Council member Jerry Allen, who represents the Lake Highlands area, said the focus on public safety will tell people that “if you live in our neck of the woods, you will live in a clean, safe and enriching community.”

Dallas City Council set to approve purchase of license plate readers as part of high-tech crime fighting efforts

Categories: Safer Dallas, TAAG

(originally posted on

Car thieves and other scofflaws beware: Dallas is about to go high tech with its license plate reading technology.

On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council is likely to approve a contract to buy automated license plate readers for the Dallas Police Department.

The vote would authorize the initial purchase of 28 license plate readers at a cost of about $603,000, a five-year service contract for about $146,470 and allow the purchase of additional cameras in future years.

License plate readers “will allow law enforcement officers to patrol daily with the benefit of license plate reading in real time,” First Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez wrote in a memo to the city council members.

Once a license plate is read, the systems can check various law enforcement databases to see if the vehicle is stolen or determine if the registered owner is wanted.

“Many stolen vehicles have been recovered using this technology and the technology can be used as an investigative tool to aid in solving crimes that are more serious,” Gonzalez wrote.

To begin with, police plan to install 14 of the devices in patrol cars and mount another 14 at various sites throughout the city. The initial devices are being paid for through a combination of confiscated funds and donations from philanthropic organizations.

Police expect to buy a total of 140 license plate readers over the next five years.

The plan to buy license plate readers is a part of a larger effort underway to equip each of the city’s 27 hot spots with bait cars, surveillance cameras and license plate readers. Collectively, those areas account for about 40 percent of the city’s crime and about 6 percent of the geography.

Police officials have previously estimated the cost to be $300,000 per hot spot.

In September, 7-Eleven kicked in $300,000 to pay for high-tech gear to go in around Ross Avenue and Bennett Avenue in Old East Dallas and the Five Points area in northeast Dallas.

Safer Dallas, Better Dallas has been leading the effort to raise $3 million for the project.

By Tanya Eiserer/Reporter
You can follow Tanya Eiserer on Twitter at @tanyaeiserer

“Oh Thank Heavens for 7-11” 7-11 Donates $300,000 to Safer Dallas Better Dallas

Categories: TAAG

“Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven
7-Eleven donates $300,000 to Safer Dallas Better Dallas for the Dallas Police Department

In a continued effort to support local law enforcement, convenience store 7-Eleven announced yesterday that it is donating $300,000 to the Dallas Police Department.

The money will be used to purchase security cameras, three-wheeled community patrol vehicles (T3s), bait cars, mobile license plate readers, and other technology for the Safer Dallas Better Dallas initiative.

According to the organization’s website, the mission of Safer Dallas Better Dallas is “to protect our citizens from becoming victims of crime and to engage them in a partnership with Dallas Police, to support the efforts of our Dallas police officers, and to make Dallas America’s safest big city.”

7-Eleven’s donation will be used for two specific TAAG (Targeted Area Action Grids) areas of Dallas: the Ross-Bennett area and the Five Points neighborhood.

“The two TAAG areas that we’re sponsoring are both very close to our offices,” said Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven vice president of asset protection. “Ross-Bennett is basically in our back yard and the Five Points TAAG area is a short distance from us. If we’re going to support, we have to support what’s close to where we do business.”

Along with announcing their gift to the DPD, 7-Eleven’s President and CEO Joe DePinto also announced on Wednesday a plan for the Corporation to invest $40 million nationwide in new security and surveillance systems for all 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. These systems are designed to further enhance customer, employee, and store safety.

“In short, this new system will allow 7-Eleven and its franchisees to remotely view their store and quickly recall footage from multiple angles,” DePinto said. “More importantly, local law enforcement agencies can view footage remotely without having to go to a store to secure a videotape should wrongdoing occur.”

Wednesday’s gift isn’t the first time 7-Eleven has shown support for the Dallas Police Department this year. In March 7-Eleven donated four T3s to increase the DPD’s fleet to eight. Yesterday’s gift from 7-Eleven is the first step towards a $3 million goal to help fight crime in all of Dallas’ 27 TAAG areas. According to the DPD, these 27 areas represent six percent of Dallas and 36 percent of its total crime.

“As we grow the city, we need private partnership in strategic areas that are important,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said back in March. “Downtown’s growth is important.”

This time around, the mayor sent out a challenge to other retailers in the area.

“I’m calling on all corporations to step up and say, ‘How can we do our part?'” said Rawlings. “Anybody who’s a retailer out there, pitch in, come on board.”

Stinde agreed with Rawlings’ statement, adding that he plans to reach out to some of the key retailers in the area to ask for their help directly.

“Just like we are often the extension of law enforcement in communities as we work together, the same goes for law enforcement being an extension of how we prevent loss in our stores,” Stinde said. “As you think about ways that you can urge your organization to become involved, this effort not only helps to make our community safe but it also creates an environment that’s going to help us accomplish our goals and improve loss numbers in our stores.”

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