As many students are painfully aware, the Irving Police have recently been taking a harder line in Tower Village.
Needless to say this approach has frustrated some students. Though perhaps against the letter of law, most lively parties at which not everyone is 21 do not pose a real threat to the public peace or safety, especially at 10 p.m. Certainly, some parties do deserve to be busted. But for the most part, these University of Dallas gatherings hardly warrant any special attention from the police.
But this reaction to IPD’s hard-line style leaves out an important part of the picture, namely the benefit of reduced crime.
Like cockroaches and mold, crime is a reality in Tower Village. Last year the Irving Police reported a total of 30 offenses that were not noise violations or underage drinking: 5 car thefts, two residential robberies, eight other thefts and nine incidences of assault among others. Just as real as these crimes is the fear they produce. Last year many students opted for the student apartments to avoid the insecurity of Tower Village, and still others are a little uneasy about walking through it at night.
With this new hard-line approach, IPD stands a chance of cutting some of these numbers. How? By putting people on guard. With their strict application of the law, police have an excuse to show up unexpectedly to dozens of parties all throughout “Old Mill.” Cul-de-sacs that in the past seldom felt the tread and rumble of a Dodge Charger now experience it regularly. As the frequency and thoroughness of these police visits increase, potential perpetrators of real crimes are certainly put on guard, perhaps even deterred. With the possibility of an officer or two pulling into the parking lot or visiting the neighbors’ apartment, the idea of stealing a car or hitting someone becomes a little more risky. And with this additional risk, perhaps many would-be criminals would think twice before they acted.
With the chance of reducing crime, this new nit-picking approach becomes perhaps a little more bearable.
Whether this future chance of crime reduction is worth the annoyance today is a tough call to make, since it is not clear how successful this deterrence will be. But regardless, this potential benefit for the community in general is an equally important consideration as personal annoyance in fairly judging the new approach of Irving Police in Tower Village.