FORT WORTH, TEXAS - It has long been a stretch of pavement familiar to pimps, working women, drug dealers and desperately low-income families or individuals.
At least that's what Amanda Oliver thinks of Las Vegas Trail. She grew up not far from the one mile corridor south of Interstate 30. She now calls a makeshift homeless tent there home.
"I've lived in the area for 30 years," says Oliver. "It just is always known for crime. People are jumping people, shooting them right on the side walk. It's just a chance I don't want to take anymore."
The data backs up a lot of what Oliver says.
In June and July alone, Fort Worth police filed more than 100 incident reports for Las Vegas Trail, according to the city's public data portal.
They include assaults, criminal mischief, and even sex crimes against children. None of it is lost on some locals renewing the push for change in the area.
After a series of Fort Worth Star-Telegram articles highlighting the all-too-human consequences years of neglect have brought, there is now a city task force focusing on Las Vegas Trail.
At a community forum Wednesday night hosted by the paper, more than 250 people packed into Western Hills Primary School to voice concerns and share ideas.
Police are working on new programs for the area, including cameras, but Lt. Kirk Driver was quick to point out a lot of change needs to come before someone sees a pair of handcuffs.
"I would venture a lot of things can be solved outside of the police department, and before they turn into crime," said Driver.
Others, like Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner, were also on hand at the meeting.
The task force should fully launch in a few months.
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