By CBSDFW.com Staff

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Following a year of shutdown, downtown Dallas is preparing for its first big summer holiday, and previewing its new police and public safety plan.

Called the Public Safety Summer Operations Plan, the multipronged initiative is being conducted in partnership with the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit police, and other government and community partners.

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“Public safety is and always will be our first priority,” said Kourtny Garrett, DDI President & CEO. “Downtown has historically been one of the safest areas of our city and we are determined to keep it that way through the good work of our field team members, including Downtown Security, Clean Team, Homeless Outreach, and our new DDI Ambassadors.”

Among the key tenets of the plan, according to a news release:

  • Improved coordination and information sharing with Dallas police, including DDI “hot spot” locations based on patrols and complaints.
  • DDI will fund additional off-duty uniformed Dallas police patrols during peak hours.
  • Continued activations and events throughout the summer at Downtown parks managed by DDI, including Main Street Garden, Pegasus Plaza, West End Square, and Pacific Plaza.
  • Enhanced communications and marketing promoting the DDI “SEE SAY NOW” app and dispatch number (214.741.1151) for reporting non-emergency quality of life concerns that do not require an immediate police response.
  • Increased on-duty Dallas police park checks and enforcement of park rules.
  • DDI staff “code walks” to identify and communicate code violations to City of Dallas.
  • Addition of Homeless Outreach Team staffing to boost DDI’s successful “relate and refer” strategy of engaging shelter-resistant and mentally ill individuals living Downtown.
  • The initiative is being led by DDI Vice President of Public Safety & Field Operations Albert Sanchez, a former 10-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department who joined DDI in 2019.

“It is no secret that Dallas and other major cities across the country often anticipate an uptick in crime heading into the warmer summer months. This does not have to be a foregone conclusion,” Sanchez said. “That is why it is so important for us to be proactive and intentional about how we address quality of life concerns.”

The operation will run within the Downtown Improvement District (DID), bounded by I-345 on the east, I-30 on the south, North Stemmons Freeway on the west and Woodall Rodgers Freeway on the north.

Newly elected Dallas City Councilmembers Paul E. Ridley and Jesse Moreno represent Districts 14 and 2 respectively, which cover Downtown.

“Ensuring public safety for all is a team effort,” Councilman Ridley said. “I’m encouraged by this collaborative approach, and I feel confident that we will see great vibrancy in Downtown during the July 4th holiday weekend and the months to come.”

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“One of the keys to our Downtown renaissance of recent decades has been the development of beautiful new parks and greenspace for all to enjoy,” said Moreno, a former Dallas Park Board member. “I’m particularly excited about DDI’s continued focus on keeping our parks clean, safe, and full of fun activities.”

DDI works closely with the City of Dallas, including the Dallas Police Department. DDI personnel share intelligence with DPD officers and supervisors, often providing key information to help solve crimes. Leadership of both organizations also meet regularly to coordinate strategies.

“The men and women of the Dallas Police Department cannot tackle our city’s challenges alone – we must collaborate with the people of Dallas and the organizations that work to make our city stronger,” said Central Patrol Division Deputy Chief Israel Herrera. “Our ongoing work with DDI is exactly the kind of partnership that allows us to address public safety concerns before they become a major problem.”

The operation was planned in coordination with DDI’s Public Safety & Homeless Outreach Committee, co-chaired by Larry Daniels, Vice President of Operations for HRI Properties, LLC, and Ted Hamilton, Shareholder, President & CFO for Hamilton Properties Corporation, both DDI Board of Directors members.

“Through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, Downtown businesses of all sizes found innovative ways to continue serving our customers,” said Daniels. “Now, with Dallas among the leaders in a robust return to business, we must all work together to ensure that our urban core remains clean and safe for all people to enjoy.”

“More than $11 billion in investments drove the historic turnaround of Downtown Dallas over the past 20 years, and we are determined to keep the momentum going,” said Hamilton. “This is a neighborhood that grew from just 200 residents in the 1990s to more than 12,000 today, and we have a responsibility to work together to keep it safe.”

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CBSDFW.com Staff