The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue have responded to 271 K2-related calls already in 2017.
“Those are labor-intensive calls, and so we do dispatch an ambulance and fire engine, tying up resources,” said Asst. Fire Chief Daniel Salazar.
On Monday morning, Dallas PD and Dallas Fire-Rescue briefed the Dallas City Council's public safety committee. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway expressed his frustrations with the problem, which he said was plaguing his district.
"They are dipping K2 into [toxic compound] formaldehyde that is from funeral homes,” Caraway said. “Some of those homes are involved in selling the stuff to the drug dealers.”
WFAA has extensively reported on the K2 problem. In downtown Dallas, "zombies," as police call K2 users, can be seen walking around in trances.
DPD Chief Renee Hall, who was at her first public safety committee meeting, said she's aware of the concerns and is listening.
"I just want to say that Mayor Pro Tem, we hear you,” the chief said. “I think sometimes when the community gives us information we are not necessarily listening -- so we hear you.”
Chief Hall said part of the solution is talking to the community and asking citizens to help the department find answers. She is setting up advisory boards across the city in the patrol divisions.
“We want to know what the concern is and reach back out to [see] what we can do differently,” Hall said.
K2 is only one of many problems the new chief has to deal with. It will take time, it will take leadership, and it will take real solutions.
Chief Hall said she's up to the task.