Leaping To Defend SMU
After reading your article on SMU (“Can It Make The Leap To Greatness?” December], I found myself pondering your definition of responsible journal ism. Should you not have included a poll conducted at another Dallas-area university, possibly the University of Dallas, to be used as a touchstone? Your poll of SMU students leaves the reader with the belief that SMU students have about as much insight into world and community affairs as a third grader. Without the use of any other survey for comparison, how do you expoct a reader to derive a valid conclusion regarding the value of the SMU “product”? Surely responsible journalism entails both sides of the story.
Your cover raises more questions: why did you choose to include a matchbook from J.R.’s (a known gay bar)? Why is the $100 bill rolled into the convenient shapo of a tube (possibly to allude to cocaine usage)?
You say that “Dallas has to Care, too, and it ought to care much more now that higher education is seen as the new hope.. .” Is this article your idea of caring? If it is, please either reconsider your concept of caring or refrain from “caring” for SMU in the future.
Student Senator. Business School
SMU, Class of ’87
“Saints” A Mixed Blessing
“Seven Unsung Saints” [December) was a good idea but very offensive. One would think (hat a magazine such as yours, thai purports sophistication, fairness, and modernity, would not allow an article with such a good rationale to be tainted with such traditional stereotypes. I mean il shouldn’t take a genius to know that as racially and culturally diverse as Dallas is. you don’t choose seven saints who are “lily white” and mostly middle class. Are there no black, Hispanic, or Asian saints in Dallas? Do you mean to suggest the work of charity and good will are provided by the “good white saints”? Or maybe you couldn’t find (if indeed you looked) ethnic models who qualified. Are we still dependent on the paternalistic good will of “great white fathers and mothers”?
I really thought your magazine was above this kind of insensitivity and callous disregard for the pluralistic community Dallas has become. Dallas will never become a truly “international city” with these kinds of misrepresentations and cultural neglect.
Rev. Henry L. Masters, Sr.
Hamilton Park United Methodist Church
Freebies And The Cops
Re: “The Freebie Factor” [Inside Dallas, Decemher] : I have been on the Dallas Police Department for more than twelve years and I have never worked an off-duty job for $25 an hour, and J have only seen one or two jobs that paid that much worked by any of my friends.
I have been a supervisor for almost four years and have never approved or seen ’approved by another supervisor, any off-duty job for any of my officers that requires twenty-five hours a week of their off-duty time. This statistic you use in your article is completely false, especially the way you phrased it as fairly standard. It is true, some officers are forced to work off-duty jobs to supplement (heir income and this off-duty time is sacrificed for the betterment of their wives and children.
You state that we receive between S4.000 and $5,000 a year of tax-free income from free or discounted meals while on duty. Considering there are twelve months in a year and we work an average of eighteen days a month (counting vacation, holidays, and compensatory time) using the lower amount of $4,000. we would be getting S18.51 a day in free or discounted food. Considering most of us eat at restaurants such as Dixie House, Goff’s, Burger King, Chips. Chili’s, etc., your figures are incorrect because none of these places have a dish that costs $18.51 (if it were 100 percent free) or $37.02, if it were 50 percent discounted.
Sergeant Mike Bostick
Even at half price, eating out every night becomes expensive. It also gets very old. Consider how much a police officer would spend oui. of his or her budget if he or she paid full price every night. I don’t think even people who make more money than police officers could afford to do that.
Dallas Polee also must “ask” for permission from their dispatcher to eat. Officers spend about forty-five minutes eating, which is just about long enough to he served, eat, anil then leave, While officers are eating, they listen to their portable radios in the event they are called for service in the middle of eating. When was the last time your lunch or dinner was interrupted by a sheeting, stabbing, or robbery? Do you have to ask before you can eat?
You stated that sometimes “’four or five” police cars are in restaurant parking lots.
The Dallas Police Department does not allow more than four officers in any restaurant at the same time. Nor do they allow more than two police cars in any restaurant parking lot, Does someone tell you how many people you can eat with?
In reference to the free coffee, if you were to survey the various 7-Eleven clerks, you would probably find an overwhelming majority would rather give out a free 25-cent cup of coffee and a quick use of the phone than have a gun in their face and an armed robber demanding all the cash in the register. I’m convinced that numerous robberies have been prevented by that one cup of coffee. But if you like we’ll be glad to bring our own coffee to work.
Furthermore, you begrudge the Dallas Police the opportunity to improve their standard of living by working an extra job. Why don’t you ask yourself this question, “Why do Dallas Police need to work two jobs?” My guess would be that it’s hard to support a family on what is “reflected by the public payroll.”
Any time Dennis Holder wants to face an armed drug dealer in a dark alley, or answer a family fight in a rat and roach infested apartment, PU be glad 10 pay for “half of his dinner.
Dennis Holder replies: It is true thai the typical restaurant discount is only $3 per meal per officer. However, thai is compounded by lire fuel thai several restaurant managers say they frequently give discounts to off-duty officers-and their families-for food and liquor, too. Throw in free tickets to Cowboys games, the Mate fair and amusement parks, add discounts on furniture, automobiles, and other goodies, and you quickly reach $4,000 to 55.000 a year in tax-free extra income.
As for off-duty assignments, I mentioned that the $25-an-hour jobs are the plums. Officers say $20 an hour is more typical, and that was the figure I used to compute extra income. Officers also say they often accept eight to ten off-duty jobs a week, totaling forty or more hours. Richardson limits off-duty work to twenty-four hours a week, but Dallas has no cap.