Congratulations to the 2019 Leadership Academy Graduates

Congratulations to the 2019 Duncanville Leadership Academy graduates! Fourteen Duncanville city employees from various departments graduated from the City’s annual Leadership Academy on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to recognize and develop upcoming leaders amongst the staff who exhibit qualities of integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence and positivity.

2019 Duncnaville Leadership Academy Graduates

Members of the 2019 Duncanville Leadership Academy

  • Esther Wright, Senior Code Enforcement Officer
  • Jose Torres, Crew Leader Streets
  • Stephanie Lott, Librarian
  • Duaine Mayo, Police Officer
  • Christopher McCaleb, Police Lieutenant
  • Ronald Wilcots, Police Lieutenant
  • Richard Jones, Fieldhouse Operations Supervisor
  • Derrick Downs, Crew Leader Utility Billing
  • Daisy Guillen, Court Clerk
  • Mike Forester, Crew Leader, Irrigation
  • David Dunn, Assistant Utilities Operations Manager
  • Angelica Garcia, Building Inspections Coordinator
  • Ervey Morales – Skilled Maintenance Worker Parks
  • Jimmy Shelley – Maintenance Worker Streets

The Leadership Academy is a one-year program that meets monthly for leadership training, which also includes city-related topics such as Introduction to City Values and Culture, Community Engagement, Council Relations, Strategic Planning, etc. Midway through the program, academy members divide into three groups and select a city-related project they are responsible for researching, developing, and implementing. The group projects for the 2019 academy program include:

  1. City University – Establish and implement a city-wide training and development program for employees
  2. Senior Center Expansion – Research and recommend expanded programs/services for the Duncanville D.L. Hopkins Jr. Senior Center
  3. Employee “Walk In Your Shoes” Day – Create a program where employees rotate through departments/divisions to learn/observe what each department does in the city

Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter to Begin Renovations on Old Animal Shelter

Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter will soon be breaking ground on a much-anticipated Surgery Suite & Medical Center at Tri-City Animal Shelter. 

The non-profit launched a half-a-million dollar capital campaign in September of last year in order to renovate the old shelter facility, located next door to the current shelter and adoption center. The Petco Foundation, PetSmart Charities, the Joe M. and Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation, and numerous individuals and businesses from the local community came together to help fund the project.

“We were nearly 80% of the way to reaching our fundraising goal when I received a message from a local family,” said Corey Thompson, Executive Director of the Friends. “I updated them on the status of the campaign, and they expressed their commitment to helping us save more lives at the animal shelter.” The couple then delivered the news: they were funding the remaining $100,000 needed to launch the renovations.

“Four years ago the Friends board members asked what the shelter truly needed in order to help more animals,” said Shelter Director, Tammy Miller. “What was the one big thing that would transform our work?” Miller explained that what the Friends were already doing for the animals — spaying and neutering and providing veterinary care — was the most critical need. Her worry, though, was how to make it sustainable long-term.

“We were resolved about what needed to happen, but we were a tiny non-profit that had just hired our first employee” said board member, Donna Fuller. “Building a medical center felt pretty far fetched at the time, but here we are on the cusp of making that vision a reality.” 

The Surgery Suite and Medical Center is now slated to open in 2020. Veterinarians will sterilize nearly 1,500 adopted animals next year and work with staff to meet the medical needs of the nearly 7,000 animals that come through the shelter each year.

A classroom has also been designed as part of the facility with a large window allowing students to see into the operating room and watch surgeries. 

“We have already begun conversations with some local school districts and community colleges about how we can bring CTE, STEM, and veterinary technology students to the shelter to enhance their learning and train up the next generation of advocates for animals,” said Thompson. “It’s going to be a really special place for our whole community, but especially for our kids.”

Local businesses interested in being part of the renovations should contact Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter at 469-850-2287 or director@tricityfriends.org. Naming opportunities for the facility are also still available, with all proceeds helping to fund surgeries, medical care, and educational programs in the coming year. Visit www.tricityfriends.org/campaign for more information.

About Tri-City Animal Shelter The Tri-City Animal Shelter is a municipal agency serving the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and DeSoto, Texas. The shelter’s mission is to provide exemplary care for impounded and unwanted animals through redemption, adoption, and public education. For more information about Tri-City Animal Shelter, visit www.luvpets.org.

About Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter

Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2006 that partners with Tri-City Animal Shelter to improve the welfare of homeless, neglected, and lost animals. For more information about Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter, visit www.tricityfriends.org.

Duncanville Police Arrest Capital Murder Suspects

Duncanville Police Arrest Capital Murder Suspects

Duncanville, TX — December 2, 2019

The Duncanville Police Department has arrested two individuals, and another is in Dallas County Jail, regarding the October 2019 murder of Duncanville resident Aaija Smoker.

On November 25, 2019 Duncanville Police Department detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Cornelius Lydell Broadway, 17, of DeSoto, TX in a Capital Murder offense resulting in the death of Aaija Smoker in early October 2019.  At the time the Capital Murder warrant was obtained, Broadway was being held in the Dallas County Jail on other charges.  He remains in the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office custody with the additional charge of Capital Murder and a bond set at $500,000 for the murder of Smoker.

On November 27, 2019, Duncanville detectives arrested Jeromey Lemar Young Jr., 17, of Dallas who was also charged with Capital Murder with a bond set at $500,000. Young was booked into the Duncanville City Jail and then transferred to Dallas County Jail. On November 30, 2019 Duncanville detectives arrested a juvenile female of Dallas on Capital Murder charges, and she was transported to Dallas County Juvenile Detection Center. 

Detectives are attempting to locate an additional juvenile suspect, and an at-large warrant for Capital Murder has been obtained for the juvenile suspect.

Personnel of the Duncanville Police Department have worked diligently on this case alongside law enforcement agencies throughout North Texas, as well as the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, to bring accountability and justice for the victim and her survivors. 

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information pertaining to this case are asked to call Duncanville Police Detective Bert Pudgurney at 972-780-4911.

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Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety

The holiday season is a busy time of year with the hustle and bustle of work and shopping, family coming to visit or going out of town to visit friends and family.

Unfortunately, there are criminals who use the holidays to target victims who may be distracted by the busy season. The holidays present special challenges to safety and security. Be aware of the dangers and takes steps to keep your holidays happy.

Home Safety:

Don’t let the rush and excitement of the holiday season make you careless in protecting your home from potential criminals.

The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes. Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Be sure someone is home if you have packages delivered to your home.  Don’t leave them sitting on your front porch, since criminals sometimes follow delivery trucks and steal packages after they are delivered.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Be sure to do a property inventory and record serial numbers.  On new gifts, be sure to keep receipts and any documentation that has model and serial numbers before they are wrapped.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base, so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree, ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

Personal Safety:

Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a few prevention measurers can help keep your holiday season joyous.

The following tips from the Duncanville Department Crime Prevention Division can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Fanny sacks work great to keep your identification and money in while shopping.
  • Always carry your Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  • Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

Extra Precaution Needed:

Driving on shopping trips during the holidays requires some extra safety precautions. Avoid driving alone or at night.

  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car.
  • Do not leave your purse or valuables sitting in the passenger seat of your car while pumping gas.
  • Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car.

This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.

Beware of Strangers:

Criminals take advantage of the holiday season to prey on those who are unsuspecting and generous. Be careful when someone you do not know comes to your door during the holiday season. Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.

  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
  • Ask for their identification and find out how the donated funds will be used.

If you are not satisfied, do not donate.

  • Donate to a recognized charitable organization.

Also be sure to keep you pets safe and watch what you feed them.

If you need more information contact Officer Doug Sisk with the Duncanville Police Department, Crime Prevention / Community Relations Division.  (972) 780 – 5027 or dsisk@duncanvillepd.com  

Fraud & Identity Theft Awareness: Understanding the Dangers

At the Town Hall meeting on November 14, 2019 the Duncanville Police Department presented information regarding fraud and identity theft. A variety of topics were covered and the presentation was recorded for those who could not attend. Please be proactive about protecting yourself, and your information, from becoming a victim of crime.

Duncanville Police Santa Cop Progam

Thank you to Diamond Wished for your donations to start off our 2019 Santa Cop Toy Drive Program.  The Santa Cop program is funded entirely by local donations and the Duncanville Police Association and Duncanville Police Employees and families.  It is organized by the Duncanville Police Association, and supported by members of the Duncanville Police Department, their families, Ebby Halliday, Realtors’ Southwest Dallas/Ellis Counties office, Duncanville Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Diamond Wishes, Duncanville Chamber of Commerce, Champion Cove, Inwood Bank, Assured Self Storage, Champions Cove, Inwood Bank, Duncanville Senior Citizens Center, and community volunteers.

New unwrapped toys or cash donations can be dropped off at:

Duncanville Police Department 203 E. Wheatland Rd. Duncanville, Texas 75116

Veterans in the Duncanville Police Department: Sgt Adrian Tijerina

Sergeant Adrian Tijerina has been employed with the Duncanville Police Department since September 11, 2006 and has been a Texas Peace Officer since December 15, 1999.  The acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001 shook the foundation of America and prompted Tijerina to join the military and serve his country.  After several years, he joined the Texas Army National Guard and was sent to U.S. Army Infantry OSUT training in Fort Benning, Georgia in October 2010.

At that time Tijerina had been with the Duncanville Police Department for four years. Tijerina researched Texas Civil Service Law to learn what to expect and to make sure he had a job once he returned.  The Texas Local Government Code, Military Leave of Absence section states that an employee shall be granted leave, without pay, for initial training, annual duty, and active duty service.  Once the service is over the employee shall be reinstated to the same position that was held when the leave was granted, with some stipulations, such as, being honorably discharged and having good mental and physical health. 

In 2012, Tijerina was activated on his first Active Duty Service and deployed to Afghanistan.  He was gone from the Police Department for approximately 12 months, and that’s when he learned the City of Duncanville goes above and beyond what is required for its employees who are members of the U.S. Military.  Once his term of service was completed, Tijerina was honorably discharged and seamlessly returned to work as a Patrol Officer. Upon his return, Tijerina’s salary at the City was more than he earned before he deployed.  The City computed the difference in the salaries and continued to pay the difference, so he did not lose money while deployed to Afghanistan. 

In 2015, Tijerina was promoted to Patrol Sergeant and in 2017 was once again activated. This time he was deployed to Somalia for Active Duty Service.  In accordance with Civil Service law, there was a Sergeants Promotional Exam held to fill his role while he was deployed. His term of service ended after approximately 12 months and Tijerina returned to Patrol Sergeant duties. The officer who had been temporarily promoted to fill his position during deployment was returned to his previously held Patrol Officer position with one difference.  That Officer was placed on a promotional list that would not expire and would be promoted to Sergeant with the next vacancy.

Sergeant Tijerina is one of three Police Department employees who are active in the Texas Army National Guard.  Employing Veterans makes the department stronger and more diverse.  The training and leadership fostered with military service is a strong asset for the Police Department.  Our veteran officers cover three diverse military occupations, Infantry, Medic, and Intelligence, which can be used to enhance each employee’s Police function, and ultimately benefits the citizens of Duncanville.

Duncanville Police Department’s National Night Out

The Duncanville Police Department will be hosting its city wide National Night Out (NNO) Event on October 1, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.   The National Night Out Event will be held at the Duncanville Recreation Center 201 James Collins Blvd. Duncanville.  

National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

In addition to increasing awareness of crime and drug prevention programs, NNO also strengthens neighborhood spirit and community-police partnerships, while sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime!

For more information contact Officer Doug Sisk, Duncanville Police Department’s Crime Prevention Officer at dsisk@duncanvillepd.com or (972) 780 – 5027.

Duncanville Red Light Cameras

The City of Duncanville’s Red Light Camera program terminated when Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1631 into law this legislative session, which prohibits the operation of Red Light Cameras in Texas. The City of Duncanville has eight (8) cameras, and although the physical Red Light Cameras are temporarily still in place, they are not active and no violations will be issued after May 31, 2019. The camera infrastructure will be removed by the company that performed the installation.

Red light citations do not appear on driving records, only citations issued by a peace officer.  The legislation does not address citations received prior to HB 1631, nor does it instruct the City to refund fines paid before the ban.  The City does not anticipate refunds for violations issued prior to HB 1631 being signed into law.

For more information, please contact the Duncanville Police Department at 972-780-5024.