DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Three-thousand to 5,000 people turn the old East Dallas community known as Deep Ellum into the city’s largest nightlife district four nights a week.
And with the crowds that fill the bars and eateries along Commerce, Elm, Main and Good Latimer Streets, violent assaults, gunfire and property crimes have also arrived.
Last Saturday night, police responded to a shooting inside an Elm Street bar. Two people were shot.
Although the incident was deemed a dispute between two people, the act became the latest example of violent crime for the five square mile district.
“Do I see more crime in Deep Ellum than any other area I represent ? No. Is it highlighted more because it’s a entertainment district? Yes,” Dallas City Council member Adam Medrano said Monday.
Medrano, along with the Deep Ellum Foundation, conducted meetings with the Dallas Police Department regarding criminal conduct in the district.
The Dallas Police Department employs a Deep Ellum detail that includes seven to ten designated officers exclusively for public safety policing Thursday through Sundays in the Deep Ellum sector.
The Deep Ellum Foundation, which represents business operators and residents, has hired eight to ten off-duty police officers to handle safety issues along the 200 bars, restaurants and shops of the area.
“Deep Ellum is safe,” Foundation Public Safety Manager Phillip Honore’ said Thursday. Honore’ says the growing historic district will encounter criminal episodes, based on the mere size of the district.
But he believes the climate of Deep Ellum is reinforcing safety and comfortability for the thousands who visit, live and work in the area.
“Do we have incidents where cars broken into, or people are robbed? Absolutely. Like any other part of the city, Uptown, downtown. But what we are doing is a concerted effort to ensure people are safe.”