By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
"I feel victimized," she says. "I feel the community is at risk, the neighbors are at risk, young children are at risk."
For Gary Turner, an eight-year resident of Bachman Lake, part of the solution lies in getting "in the city's face." He publishes a community paper called Crime and Politics, in which he recently ran photos showing prostitutes soliciting men at a nearby 7-Eleven. (The store recently hired two off-duty police officers to patrol it along with nine other stores in the Northwest Division area, says Jeff Feldman of 7-Eleven's division of loss prevention.)
On a recent night, Turner drove around the outskirts of his neighborhood, stopping off at the convenience store. "Just wait," the store clerk told him in a lowered voice, while standing in the back of the shop, "they will come."
In the hours after midnight on that cold night, men--pimps and lookouts, the 36-year-old Turner said--stood outside the store for hours, while a young, petite woman in high-heeled boots and a mini-skirt walked a small strip of the street.
Police made their presence known by occasionally driving by the area.
"A girl can have 30 [outstanding] tickets and be out on the street within the hour," said one cop, standing with another beside their patrol cars. "We're so overwhelmed," said the other, on robbery detail. "We need more manpower." As for legislation, he said: "No more laws, please."
Sometime after 2 a.m., 21-year-old beauty school student "Jazzy" was walking outside a nightclub. She's been working these streets for two months. "I can have 100 customers a night," she said, offering up that improbable number through a gelatinous smile. Farther down on the adjoining Harry Hines Boulevard, a young blonde walked up and down in tight blue pants, and with a vacant stare waited for her next john. Soon, a middle-aged man in a white pickup truck drove up near her, into a parking lot.
The sight's all too familiar for Turner, who in the past year has gone out about a dozen times recording on his video camera such seedy exploits, all in the hope of getting the city to take further action. "Why should the neighborhoods in the northwest area be a sacrificial lamb for the city?" Turner asks. The city, he says, "needs to keep pushing" until prostitution is out of Dallas. He's convinced that's possible. As he puts it: "It's not rocket science."