DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Going where no police cruiser has gone before, members of the Dallas PD rode public transit Friday for the first ever “Darting With The Chief On The Beat” initiative.
Riding into the West End on a train from South Oak Cliff, is not Chief David Brown’s usual commute.
“Because there’s no crisis today, I think there’s an opportunity we can take and manage to start being more accessible,” explains Chief Brown.
Like the DART Rail connecting riders to work, he sees it as a chance for police to link up with the people they serve and learn what’s on their minds.
Betty Doyle is a daily DART customer. This morning’s ride had a welcoming committee that caught her by surprise.
“He was just asking me where I live, where I went to school,” says commuter Betty Doyle.
“We’ve never had this many policemen on one train at one time in one car”
Like many, she appreciated the show of force.
Not enough officers on the trains is a top complaint among DART commuters.
The transit system does have its own police force, but DART Chief James Spiller says collaboration is key.
“We have to use the manpower we have to address all of the resources and not just the certain segment of it,” explains Chief Spiller.
Nearly 100 officers, including six chiefs sparked conversations on the rails this morning.
This trip was a first for many of the DPD officers on board.
“It’s great. There won’t be any crime this morning. I feel very safe,” says commuter Tyron Wesley.
Chief Brown says, it won’t be the last.
“Having the capability of being somewhere on a dart train, listening to people and giving them an opportunity to say what they want to say, whether that’s crime related or not.”