Downtown Dallas billboard appeals for police presence

DALLAS Billboards have gone up on the edge of downtown Dallas. The message? Dallas police: We need you here.

The signs are paid for by the Farmers Market Neighbors. They want police to move a substation to their neighborhood.

Right now, that police station is located at the West End, right off Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Lamar Street.

The Farmers Market neighborhood is on the other side of downtown off Central Expressway, and just two blocks from Dallas City Hall. But it's also near The Bridge homeless shelter, which some neighbors blame for a spike in crime.

Leslie Ingendorf doesn't know who stole the copper tubing from her Farmer's Market produce warehouse. We had a total of about 400,000 by the time it was all said and done, she said, and having her business back up to The Bridge she says isn't helping.

Standing on her loading dock, Ingendorf says it's not unusual to see drug dealing and prostitution in front of The Bridge.

Similar incidents spurred residents and property owners in the neighborhood to issue the billboard-sized plea to Dallas police to relocate a storefront station to the Farmer's Market district.

I think police presence in the are would help curtail crime. Ingendorf said.

Dallas police say the Farmers Market area is on the short list for potential substation locations.

But The Bridge managing director Jay Dunn disputes allegations by its neighbors that crime is up or that its homeless clients are to blame.

Crime went down 16 percent the first year, and an additional 13 percent the second year according to DPD, Dunn said. So we feel like we are having a good impact.

The Bridge says it is not opposed to moving the police storefront to the neighborhood, but only if it does not shift resources from other parts of town that may also need them.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com


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