Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter
DALLAS (CBS11) – Virgil Jones stood in the parking lot of his small apartment four-plex, and watched all the activity just a few yards away.
Police officers in tactical gear surrounded another apartment building. The small battalion of police crept quietly, but their presence echoed a loud sense of urgency.
Jones knew what all the activity was about.
“Drugs and violence. There’s too much of it here. It needs to stop,” Jones said.
Dallas Police identified Jones’ San Jacinto block in East Dallas as part of violent crime Targeted Area Action Grid or TAAG. The grid is known as the Ross-Bennett Grid.
It’s one of five Dallas neighborhoods identified as the city’s most violent.
“We will move into these areas, as crime dictates,” DPD Deputy Chief Paul Stokes said Thursday.
Stokes says the Ross-Bennett section of old East Dallas has seen a 20 percent increase in crime since the beginning of the year.
Jones, who has lived in the area for 20 years, called the area a magnet for robberies, street drug sales and violence.
“We like to see the police here now. We’d like to see them more,” Jones says.
Since the start of March, Dallas Police assigned 170 officers to its Violent Crime Task Force. Forest & Audelia, along with Park Lane & Fair Oaks join the Ross & Bennett areas on the violent crime list.
On Dallas’ south side, Hampton & Ledbetter, Hatcher & Scyene are other neighborhoods added to the crime suppression plan.
For families watching the police activity in the same lot as Virgil Jones, there was a quiet reaction to it. A young mother holding her 8-month-old son came outside to see.
“It’s progress,” Vernaesha Compton said. “I appreciate these guys coming out, so we can have a better life in the neighborhood.”
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)