JoAnn Karr Crime Watch in Southeast Dallas get update from Dallas Police and Pleasant Grove Historian
BY KAY LEAKS
At its recent monthly meeting, the JoAnn Karr Crime Watch group heard crime stats from the Dallas Police Department. Since our Neighborhood Police Officers (NPOs) have been transferred to another department, their supervisor (Sgt. Grant) will report to the group until replacements are announced.
Sgt. Grant encouraged members to report anything suspicious they may observe. He gave an example of how a neighbor in another area saw some men running from a pawn shop and got the license plate number of the car in which they left.
Figuring this spelled trouble of some kind, she gave the number to the police, and it turned out the men had killed the employee of the pawn shop. Thanks to the neighbor’s quick thinking, one of the men was arrested the next day based on the license plate number.
Members were cautioned to always secure yard equipment when going inside to rest or get refreshment. Often people think they’ll just be gone a minute, even though that’s not always the case. Upon their return their lawnmower, edger, etc. have disappeared.
Additionally, members were encouraged to keep a close eye on elderly or disabled neighbors during excessive heat and ozone days to be sure they are cool and well hydrated. The group was also advised of work the DPD is doing with Code to stop unlicensed food, produce, and ice cream vendors in the area. Any sightings of these should be reported.
Local historian Frances James also made a presentation during the meeting. Ms. James has lived in the Pleasant Grove area and studied its history for many years. She said that many people are confused about what actually constitutes Pleasant Grove. That may sound strange until one realizes that most people define Pleasant Grove as everything south of I-30, east of 175, and west of Balch Springs.
View Map of Pleasant Grove Area
Actually, Pleasant Grove began at the crossing of Buckner Blvd. and Elam Road and extended in a one-mile radius. North of that one mile radius is the Piedmont/Scyene neighborhood and then Buckner Terrace.
Ms. James and others have worked with the newspapers, Radio, and TV stations over the years to encourage them to report accurately when stating where a crime occurs. Interestingly, the very next day after the meeting, one of the members heard a report on the radio about a crime around the Fair Park area and the reporter finished by saying, “actually in Pleasant Grove.”
The member immediately called the newsroom and provided the correct information; however, the misstatement was not corrected over the air.
Other interesting points made by Ms. James included:
- The first public cemetery is on Buckner Blvd., next to the Pleasant Mound Cemetery. Burials are no longer allowed. The Pleasant Mound Methodist Church established the Pleasant Mound Cemetery next to its own site. From the cost of burial, $5 went to the church. That is how the First Pleasant Mound Methodist Church which is now at Bruton and Pleasant Mound was built. In the public cemetery, the markers were made of Bois D’arc trees, some of the hardest in the world. There are a few of those markers still in the cemetery.
- The first train stopped in Dallas in 1872 in the area of what is Gaston and Central today. There were about four cars on that train. One was for the passengers and the others for materials.
- The T&P Railroad was originally scheduled to run along the 32nd parallel through Corsicana; however, John Lane got legislation through the Texas Legislature to have it come through Dallas at Browder Springs which is in the area of Old City Park. Money was paid to appease the citizens of Corsicana.
- The Houston and Texas Central crossed with the T&P in Dallas. Thus, a thriving metropolis was born.
- There really is an Elam Springs (remember Elam Road) and is located in what is now the Trinity River Audubon Center on Loop 12, West of Jim Miller Road.
There’s so much more history about Pleasant Grove that Ms. James shared at the meeting. In next month’s column, we’ll share more interesting facts.