Burleson City Council members approved the continuation of a tri-county task force designed to prevent and lower motor vehicle burglaries which has showed positive results.
Burleson saw a decrease in vehicle burglaries and auto thefts for the last quarter of 2011 and the first two months of 2012, which was around the time the task force became operational in September.
According to data collected from Burleson Police Department, vehicle theft and burglaries began to spike at the beginning of 2011. BPD recorded 269 vehicle burglaries and 50 thefts last year.
The task force, which includes law enforcement officials from Johnson, Tarrant and Ellis counties, was created to coordinate activities directed at both auto theft and burglary reduction.
Law enforcement activities include, but are not limited to, bait car deployment and arrest, surveillance details, covert operations, assistance to law enforcement agencies, training of officers and educating the public in vehicle theft awareness.
To fund the task force, the city of Mansfield will submit a grant request to the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority.
The grant is funded by automobile insurance companies. Each vehicle registered in Texas is assessed a $1 fee per vehicle which is paid to the insurance companies.
They in turn send that to the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority. Last fiscal year (2009-10), $12,750,000 was distributed within Texas to 29 agencies.
In addition to the task force, BPD also uses the Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, or DDACTS, to help law enforcement agencies spot crime trends and areas prone to criminal activity.
In other cities where DDACTS has been implemented there have been decreases in burglary, vandalism, thefts from motor vehicles, traffic crashes and drug violation, BPD Chief Tom Cowan said.
“As an example, before DDACTS, we experienced 30 burglaries of motor vehicle offenses in August and 38 in September. After DDACTS, we had 11 in October, 16 in November and 20 in December,” he said. “We were also able to stop a trend of Dodge truck thefts by arrest. Also, we have seen an increase in DWI arrests from 19 during August and September to 25 in October and November. These three issues were the first addressed using DDACTS, obviously it is too early to assess its effectiveness but these results are encouraging. We will likely review the results quarterly.”
In other items, council members:
zx Approved the final reading of an ordinance revising the location and time limits for the school zone on Summercrest Boulevard near West Bend Boulevard. The ordinance will extend the southeastern limit of the school zone to the southeast of the center line of Cedar Ridge Lane. The new limits add protection for a student crossing at Cedar Ridge Lane by including that crossing within the school zone. The northwestern limit of the school zone will remain to the west of West Bend Boulevard. In addition, the installation of flashing school zone signs is recommended to replace the non-flashing signs at both ends of the school zone on Summercrest Boulevard. The speed limit will be set at 20 miles per hour from 45 minutes before to 15 minutes after school start time and from 15 minutes before to 45 minutes after school dismissal time on days school is in session. Both the revised school zone limits and times will become effective upon installation of the signs.
zx Approved an ordinance increasing appropriations in the Governmental Equipment Replacement Fund during FY 11-12 and awarded the bid for the purchase of a heavy rescue vehicle. Council awarded the bid for the heavy rescue vehicle to Metro Fire in the amount of $479,000.
zx Approved the first reading of an ordinance about the collection of water and wastewater impact fees and updating the Effective Impact Fees.