DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police have a new strategy to try tackle an uptick in violent crime.
The effort kicked off with a one-day surge of police presence in south central Dallas area, surrounding Bonnie View Road and Ledbetter Drive.
Bonny Nwokories manages a gas station at the intersection.
After 15 years watching crime drop, he’s recently noticed an increase.
“Violent crime, drug related… the young kids are acting stupid,” he said.
Less than a mile away, police say a 15-year-old shot and killed a clerk last week at a Dollar General store.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that a lady… lost her life doing exactly what she’s supposed to do,” he said. The mother of six was working the counter, just like him, something that hasn’t escaped his attention. “Of course. Of course. You worry about it every day.”
New crime statistics, released by the city of Dallas, show violent crime is up five percent compared to last year.
Police say it is especially evident in Nwokories’ neighborhood.
“We have noticed an uptick in violent crime in that specific area,” said Assistant Police Chief Gary Tittle.
As part of a special initiative, officers from the SWAT team to traffic enforcement swarmed the area Saturday.
Police made two big drug busts, arrested 34 suspects, and wrote 168 tickets.
They also fanned out across the community talking to locals.
“They come inside, find out how we’re doing, say hello, and I think it’s a good thing,” adds Nwokories.
He’s happy to see more police, but wants more than a one day surge.
He keeps a picture of his family close. They remind him regularly how much he matters.
“Same thing. ‘Be careful! Be careful!’ And we’re trying to be careful,” he said.
Assistant Chief Tittle says the department plans to have these initiatives on a routine basis, with different areas selected depending on crime trends.