DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As summer approaches, Dallas’ plan to fight an annual uptick in crime will once again involve Texas DPS Troopers.
District 4 Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold announced the Safe 365 Initiative on Thursday at Dallas City Hall while stressing the extra law enforcement officers are just one part of the solution and encouraged everyone to remain engaged.
“Calling 911 to get the job done, you see something you say something,” says Arnold. “Now they know that we have partners out there who are committed to responding to that call.”
In some regards, District 4 is a metaphor for the city: quiet and lovely on some streets, like the one that has been home to Weldon and Dorothy Fields for 45 years.
“It’s a beautiful neighborhood, our house is right down the street,” shares Dorothy proudly, while taking her great-grandbaby for a stroll.
“We love living here,” adds Weldon.
And yet, crime-infested corners are still just a few blocks away. Other homeowners at the City Hall announcement complained of drug houses and gunshots.
“We had a young couple that said they were moving from Dallas to Cedar Hill because of their concern about all of the gunshots,” shared a speaker from a neighborhood near Kiest Park.
Safe 365 also aims to build on previously announced DPD crime reduction plans.
“We have a lot of work to do,” admits Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall. “We believe that crime prevention is everybody’s business,” while also asking residents for support and to “bend their knees and stand up.”
Chief Hall also added that it only made sense to unite and work with other law enforcement partners, including the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, local constable and Texas DPS.
“Covid went into lockdown and it kind of suppressed crime in itself initially,” says Hank Sibley, DPS Regional Director. “But we’re seeing an increase in crime and we are in a position, now, we want to help them any way we can.”
Neighbors in the Oak Park Estates neighborhood near Kiest Park concede that violent crime could be worse, but also insist they shouldn’t have to wait for crime to worsen to see solutions.
“We’d definitely like more surveillance… maybe patrolling the neighborhood,” shares Victoria Plummer. “Police actually coming like whenever there’s gunshots, whenever we report things like that.”
Meanwhile, Councilwoman Arnold continues to urge constituents to stay involved.
“Understanding that if anything is going to change in the neighborhood on a large scale, it starts with the community members, it starts with us.”
“I think that would be a great idea,” says Weldon Fields. “I think we all need to be involved, which would make it safer for everybody.”