Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 12 of 72
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fees for each substandard building inspection
Gouge said that some components of the anti-
crime plan — such as requiring apartment com-
plexes to provide tenants with scores related to
city building inspections — troubled her.
"I think that's ridiculous because most people
don't know what that means," Gouge said.
"Ninety percent don't know what 50 square foot
is compared to 500 square foot."
Gouge said that she is also concerned about
increased fees the city plans to levy because most
apartment complexes are suffering financially.
"Apartment complexes have been in a finan-
cial bind since [the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in
New York] — especially in Oak Lawn," Gouge
said. "It's hard enough to bring things up to the
current standards without being fined left and
The effectiveness of the anti-crime plan also
concerns him, said P.D. Sterling, coordinator of
the Oak Lawn crime watch group.
"I am concerned to know if the city is attack-
ing crime or attacking business owners," Sterling
said. "I'm still gathering information."
The Atrium manager Louise Doe said that
educating apartment managers and tenants about
crime is useless when city officials fail to respond
to complaints about illegal activities and haz-
ardous situations. The plan is unlikely to be any-
more effective than previous efforts, and the alley
behind her complex remains "knee-deep in drug-
gers" using the bathroom and having sex in the
fenced-in area where the complex's trash dump-
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ster sits, she said.
"If this would work I would be for it, but I
don't know how they are going to make it work,"
said Doe, who notes that she has gone to crime
watch meetings for years. "I'm ready to work
with the city if they'll work with us, but I can't
get them to do anything."
Doe said that she has repeatedly called Mayor
Laura Miller's office seeking help, but neither the
mayor nor anyone on her staff returns the phone
The requirement that apartment complexes
post "Lock, Take, Hide" signs particularly galls
"They need for the police officers to get more
involved with the apartment managers [and vice-
versa]," Gouge said.
Gouge said that apartment managers should be
proactive everyday, but that it is often a threaten-
"It's very dangerous being an apartment man-
ager these days," Gouge said. "There are a lot of
things you used to do that you don't anymore
[such as ordering loiterers off of the property].
People are really violent out there."
Gouge said that the Dallas Police Department
"What are we supposed to do — powder their behinds
next? Anybody who lives in this area that doesn't have
the sense to take their stuff out of their car has
something wrong with them to begin with."
Louise Doe, manager
The Atrium apartments
her, Doe said.
"What are we supposed to do — powder their
behinds next?" Doe said. "Anybody who lives in
this area that doesn't have enough sense to take
their stuff out of their car has something wrong
with them to begin with.
"And that's not going to stop them from break-
ing windows [in cars]. They just do it for the hell
of it sometimes."
Gouge said that getting apartment managers
more involved in fighting crime would work if
police officers respond promptly to the com-
also needs more Spanish-speaking officers to
conduct crime watch plans for residents who are
not conversant in English. Residents need to be
involved in deterring crime, she said.
"We've had real good success when we've had
crime watch meetings on our properties," Gouge
Gouge said that the crime watch group has
scheduled a health and safety fair for the commu-
nity at the Oak Lawn Library on April 24 from
noon until 4 p.m.
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12 I dallasvoice.com I 03.12.04
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/12/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.