FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Demanding answers. Forcing change.
A Fort Worth community’s response to a brazen daytime kidnapping earlier this year, may just make the entire city safer.
“I feel very proud that our neighbors were able to come together and were a part of the solution,” says Ryan Place homeowner Brenda Patton.
The picturesque Ryan Place Neighborhood rallied to search for the 8-year-old girl snatched in broad daylight while walking with her mother.
However, relief when she was rescued was not enough. The situation highlighted some outdated police procedures. For example, the Amber Alert was delayed because of a broken fax machine.
“They’ve done a fantastic job,” says District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh of the association’s focused effort. “I think they’re a great example of positive things that can happen in a neighborhood association with engaged citizens. Their goal to bring that to a broader community, not just their own community, just shows how passionate they are about this: their initiatives will make the city safer, as an entire city.”
In response to the neighborhood association concerns, changes have already been made to Fort Worth Police procedures following reports of an abduction. For instance, the regional notification policy in an Amber Alert now includes both fax and email notification, followed up by an immediate phone call to verify receipt.
More officers are now authorized to submit Amber Alert information and a response team will address impacted neighborhoods and citizen volunteers.
“It’s a great example of where neighborhoods can be leaders,” says Patton of the Ryan Place Neighborhood Association efforts. “Maybe the city not’s doing exactly what we like, but we can take things in our own hands and that’s where the change really happens.”
The association task force is presented their concerns and address the Fort Worth City Council during the public comment portion of Tuesday night’s meeting.