A grain of salt
One component of our bi-annual Citizen Satisfaction Survey that remains constant, is our overall comfort with our public safety agencies. You feel safe and secure in Farmers Branch, and for good reason. The training and professionalism of our Fire and Police Departments is unmatched in any community I've ever seen. And, we now have some year-end numbers to back that up.
A look at major crimes for 2011 not only shows a 12 percent drop from 2010, but crime in Farmers Branch last year was lower than it has been at any time in the past 10 years. That is directly attributable to Chief Sid Fuller and the men and women of the Farmers Branch Police Department that aren't satisfied with "reactive" police work. They approach the safety and security of this community with a "proactive" mindset of crime prevention and community policing.
That said, Chief Fuller will be the first to point out that any statistics, good or bad, must be taken with a grain of salt. Any statistic is only as good as the stat it's being compared against. Also, any year's numbers can be affected by a dramatic fluctuation in any given category. So, yes, year to year, crime in a community may rise or fall slightly, dependent on many different variables. And for all of the 21st century police technology and techniques, the number one thing our men and women in blue are in need of is a public that is aware and involved. When you see something that looks out of place, it probably is. Call it in. If everything is OK, great. But our officers would much rather check on a questionable situation that turns out to be nothing, than to take a report on a crime later.
I believe that any numbers that show a drop in crime from a set period in the past is cause for congratulations. So, as a community, let's thank the Farmers Branch Police Department for a job well done and offer them our continued support to help keep crime in our City on a downward slide.
Click Gary's picture for background and contact info
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Citing contemporary programs along with an ever-vigilant force of professional law enforcement officers, Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller has announced that crime statistics in Farmers Branch hit a 10-year low in 2011.
The crimes being counted include in the "major offenses" categories include: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft.
For 2011, the total number of reported crimes in these categories was 1.068, a 12 percent drop from the total in 2010, a 23 percent decline from the 1,382 reported in 2002 and the lowest point of reported major offenses since that time.
Chief Fuller was cautious to explain that crime is a complex phenomenon that is affected by multiple approaches but carries with it many unknown variables.
|Chief Sid Fuller|
"I attribute our reduction in crime to several factors, first of which is the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the FBPD," he said. "They take their jobs very seriously and are dedicated to keeping this city safe. It's not the number of cops on the street that matters, it's what they are doing and ours are very proactive."
In terms of programs, Chief Fuller added that several crime reduction initiatives have had an effect.
"The Mandatory Crime Reduction Program for apartments has proven very successful," he explained. "Apartment owners are being held accountable for providing a safe environment for their residents.
"If crime reaches a certain level, the apartments are required by ordinance to work in partnership with police in reducing crime. Last year, we saw apartment crime reduced by 25 percent as a result."
The Chief added that the Property Identification Program has also played a part in crime prevention and in recovering stolen property. "The citizens and business owners of Farmers Branch must also be given credit," he concluded. "They watch out for their neighborhoods and call us when things are not right. The level of cooperation and communication is second to none."
Looking to the future, Chief Fuller said he is excited about the recently rolled-out Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety program which builds on the department's already-successful strategy of using up-to-the-minute crime data to deploy officers.
Citizenship classes begin January 30 at Library
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Focusing on the process to become a citizen of the United States, Citizenship Class will begin January 30 at the Farmers Branch Manske Library.
Sessions will focus on preparation for the citizenship interview and studying U.S. history and government for the examination.
Like English as a Second Language classes, the sessions on U.S. Citizenship are all taught and facilitated by volunteers. ESL classes have been going on at the Library for more than 20 years and regularly draw 300 to 400 people each month. The Citizenship class has been taught at the Library since 2002.
Preregistration is required. Call the Library for more information at 972.247.2511.
EarthKind roses featured in next rose landscaping class
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Texas A&M's Dr. Steve George will be featured on January 17 with "EarthKind Roses: Lessons from the Garden - Top Performers in the National EarthKind Trials" as the next in a series of free classes on landscaping with roses in 2012.
The City of Farmers Branch, along with the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society and the Dallas Rose Society, is co-sponsoring the series of six classes in January and February, designed to promote landscaping with roses. Classes are held at 7 p.m. each scheduled evening at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, unless otherwise noted.
The sessions led off on January 10 with Landscaping Designer and Consulting Rosarian, Carolyn Hayward elaborating on "Color in the Rose Garden - Journey from Gardener to Landscape Designer." Future sessions include:
- January 24 - Master Consulting Rosarian and National Rose Show Judge Mike Becker with "Fragrance in Roses." This session starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in conjunction with the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society monthly meeting.
- January 31 - President of the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society and Master Consulting Rosarian Claude Graves will present "A Classic Collection of Roses for the Metroplex."
- February 7 - Peter Schaar will teach participants "How to Prune Roses" as preparation for a Rose Pruning Clinic, to be held at Gussie Field Watterworth Park on Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m.
- February 28 - The class will again join the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society meeting where Mark Chamblee, owner of Chamblee's Roses in Tyler, will present "Roses Bred for Toughness - Buck Roses and Kordes Roses." This session will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Attendance is free but registration is requested. Call 972.247.4607 to reserve a spot for one or more. Attendance at five classes and the pruning clinic will make participants eligible for a 30 minute personal landscape consultation. Additionally, rose plants will be available for $10 each.
For more information, call 972.919.2625.
|Tickets for Feb. 4 Daddy-Daughter Dance on sale soon |
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Rapidly becoming a winter event favorite, the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance is returning to the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center on Saturday, February 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Advance tickets will be on sale in mid January at $5 per person. After February 2 or at the door, tickets will be $10.
For more information, call 972.247.4607.
Name: Kerry Phillps
Position: Park Maintenance Supervisor
Department: Parks and Recreation
Years with the City: 23 yrs
Background: I graduated from RL Turner High School, grew up in Farmers Branch, have coached little league baseball and football and worked for the City for 23 years. I enjoy spending time with my wife, Lori, and our two children swimming, hunting, fishing and watching movies. I love to play golf and other sports with family and friends.
What Do You Like Most About Working for the City of Farmers Branch? I feel like I make a difference. I like to provide excellent service to our residents and park users and my fellow employees.
|Parents invited to online safety for kids session at Library|
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Online safety for kids will be the focus of a late afternoon session, taught by the Farmers Branch Police Department, on
Wednesday, January 18, 4 p.m., at the Farmers Branch Manske Library.
Although designed for kids, parents are encouraged to attend as well.
Participants will learn about the risks faced online and what steps can be taken to ensure safety.
The session is planned for one hour, is free and open to the public. Pizza and drinks will be provided. Call 972.247.2511.
|LBJ bridge work planned in January|
INTERSTATE 635 ~ Demolition of some bridges and rebuilding of others is on tap for the LBJ Express project in January.
Beam hanging for the Rosser and Joe Ratcliff bridges is set for January 13-15. Then, from January 20-23, demolition will take place on the Welch Road bridge over LBJ.
Hanging of beams on the reconstructed Marsh Lane bridge has been postponed until February. Additionally, the U-turn lane on the east side of Midway Road, under LBJ, has been closed for construction work through January 20. Information and additional updates on these and other components of the LBJ Express project can be found at www.lbjexpress.com.
|Garbage Bag delivery begins in January |
FARMERS BRANCH ~ The annual delivery of garbage bags to Farmers Branch residences is scheduled to begin in late January, according to Public Works officials.
Two bundles of 42 bags each will be delivered to each home during the period with delivery expected to finish by the end of February, weather permitting.
Call 972.919.2597 for more information.
|Local authors to gather for book signing event|
FARMERS BRANCH ~ Local authors Mel Barney and Tom Nollette will be on hand with their recently published works for a book launch and signing event on Satuday, Februrary 11 from 2 until 3:30 p.m. in the art gallery at the Farmers Branch Manske Library.
Other published members of the Farmers Branch Writers Organization will also be present, including Jeanne Ann Macejko and Binion Amerson.
For more information, call 972.247.2511.
Anyone who has driven on the streets of Farmers Branch, chances are you've seen the Traffic Unit squad car, designed specifically for working traffic control.
|LBJ Express is the name given to the five-year project that will renovate and expand capacity for Interstate 635, the LBJ freeway, from Central Expressway to Stemmons Freeway through parts of Dallas and Farmers Branch. Begun in 2011, the project team updates its status, and lane closure information weekly, including weekend bridge construction that could have serious traffic impacts. |
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|Branch Bulletin is the
recipient of the 2011
E-Newsletter in Texas, bestowed by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers
About the City of Farmers Branch
Located on the northwest border of the City of Dallas, Farmers Branch is a vibrant and vital community with a residential population of 28,800 but a daytime population of 66,000. The City's 28 parks and lush greenbelts feature nationally-acclaimed, award-winning soccer fields, football facilities as well as baseball and softball complexes. The Farmers Branch Historical Park allows residents to step back in time and the John F. Burke Nature Preserve offers the opportunity to experience a real, 104-acre wilderness in the middle of one of the busiest metro areas of the world. The City's location in the geographical center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, only 15 minutes away from both DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field, make Farmers Branch an ideal location for residents and for business. For more information about Farmers Branch, visit www.farmersbranch.info or call 972.919.2515.