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Cockrell Hill Police Accused Of Harassing Beer Barns

COCKRELL HILL (CBSDFW.COM) - The owner of a Cockrell Hill beer barn says that police officers are conducting excessive patrols of the area around his business, and it is hurting his sales. But police say that they are simply doing their job, arresting drunk drivers, keeping people safe and enforcing the law.

According to Jim Cleveland, owner of In & Out Beer & Wine in Cockrell Hill, and the owner of another local beer barn, police have been overdoing it when it comes to traffic enforcement. Police have been parking in front of their businesses, they say.

Cockrell Hill is a town of less than 5,000 people, but Jefferson Boulevard has become a major thoroughfare for people who cannot buy alcohol in the dry areas of southern Dallas. "We finally get something that bring people to town, spend their money here, and the police have run them all off," Cleveland said.

Cockrell Hill bar owner Tammy Spears disagrees, and says that the police presence is comforting. "There have been a lot of problems that have come," she said. "You get the young thugs coming to the beer barns. It's brought a different element to this city."

In the last fiscal year, police in Cockrell Hill said that they made nearly 8,000 traffic stops, handed out about 4,400 citations and arrested 130 people for driving while intoxicated. Plus, another 128 people have been arrested for public intoxication.

"They're not stepping out of their guidelines," Cleveland admitted about the officers to CBS 11 News. "But I really don't think we need 18 police officers in this town."

Studies have shown that proactive traffic enforcement leads to a reduction in overall crime. The Cockrell Hill City Council is scheduled to discuss this issue during a hearing on Tuesday evening.

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