DALLAS (CBS11) – Ivan Pugh does not have to do it.
But as the owner and chef of Bucky Moonshine’s in Deep Ellum, Pugh says he has gone above and beyond on security measures.
He has several security cameras not only point at his business, but at the surrounding shops and streets. Pugh also has a high-voltage light that keeps his parking lot illuminated at night.
“We as citizens have to be vigilant. We can’t expect the city to pay for everything that we need to be safe,” said Pugh.
In light of the recent sexual assault in the area and other past crimes, Pugh hopes to be an example.
“Every single business down here has a stake in the game,” said Pugh.
He was in Deep Ellum in the 80s and early 2000s when there was a similar boom in business and then a bust due to crime.
Pugh insists this time is different. He sees an investment from shop owners and residents.
“We want people to come here and we want them to spend their money and we also want them to feel safe doing so,” said Pugh.
It is why area stakeholders spend time to get together for a monthly crime watch forum.
“We’re trying to step up presence, especially on the weekends,” said Officer Jeanette Stinson with Dallas Police.
Stinson said compared to last year in Deep Ellum, from January until now, non-violent crime is up 106 percent and violent crime is up 233 percent.
“You also have to keep in mind a lot of the bars and restaurants are new. So that brings different crowds to Deep Ellum,” said Stinson.
More people in the area, more changes for time and Council member Adam Medrano said there is an even bigger opportunity to keep the entertainment district thriving.
“We want to make sure we keep attracting them and they’re not afraid to come to Deep Ellum,” said Medrano.
While Medrano said crime happens everywhere, Deep Ellum is especially important and exploding with growth.
He said the city is looking at adding more officers on top of the extra patrols the area already experiences as well as adding some undercover patrols and more light in dark areas.
Medrano, like Pugh, said safety is a community effort.
“Hey, if you’re going to commit a crime, don’t do it here,” said Pugh. “If so, we’re going to bust you.”