FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Changing your phone number usually isn’t that hard. Then again, most of us don’t have our numbers on signs all over the city. That’s where Fort Worth police have theirs posted, and as of a few months ago, it’s the wrong one.
Call police in Fort Worth at 817.335.4222, the non-emergency number people have called for years, and instead of an officer on the line now, you get three piercing tones, followed by a message that starts “I’m sorry.”
After decades with the same phone number, Fort Worth made a slight change earlier this year.
A police captain said the old number had been around so long, the equipment that serviced it was being retired.
The recording does give you the new number, 817.392.4222, but the old one is still posted on neighborhood crime watch signs all over the city. At neighborhood entrances, intersections and in front of businesses, the signs are posted with the old number to quickly reach police.
“That’s just not good business for the police department so that’s why we have to get on board with this,” said crime prevention specialist Rosalinda Mendoza.
She is one of the first crime prevention specialists in the department to actively start working on a fix.
New signs were too pricey. So the city has turned to reflective stickers with the correct number. And its asking residents, to help put them up. However, that’s not the hard part.
“The hardest part of this project is just going to be to locate the signs,” Mendoza said.
As signs were requested and added over the years, there hasn’t always been accurate accounting of where they area. There are a few lists but no complete database.
Mendoza already has volunteers sending her lists of addresses where they’ve documented signs. She hopes to have a kick-off day for her Northern Division, where volunteer groups can knock out as many as possible in one day. There’s no good estimate for how long it could take to find and follow up on the signs that they miss initially. They’ve ordered 8,000 stickers to start.
“It’s going to be a hard project, a difficult project but it’s one that’s going to be done,” she said.
You can contact crime prevention specialists in your section of the city, here, for more information on volunteering for sign correction efforts.