DALLAS – City leaders and police are working to address some crime and safety concerns in the Buckner Terrace and South Dallas communities.
District 7 Councilman Kevin Felder held a news conference on Tuesday announcing a strategy to tackle the issues. "You know it’s so much killing going on,” Mike Mathis said as he and his grandchildren painted a fence at a home near Rothington in Buckner Terrace.
Safety is key, they say, especially working steps away from an area that has been a hot spot for violent crime. "It’s gang-related,” Mathis explained. “Drug-related.”
A recent string of murders, assaults, robberies, and chronic code issues surrounding properties in Buckner Terrace have been making headlines recently. The issues have forced some neighbors to stay indoors, out of fear.
”Where there is no organization, there is chaos,” Councilman Kevin Felder said. Felder stood beside Dallas Police officers, on Tuesday, announcing an eight-point strategy to address crime and safety concerns in Buckner Terrace. He announced additional plans for South Dallas where five people were recently injured after an unidentified man fired a gun into a crowd gathered at Juanita J. Craft Park for a community football event.
"What I’ve found out in many of the areas, actually most of the areas, where those crimes are being committed, there’s no crime watch and no homeowner’s association," Felder said.
The crime and safety strategies the councilman announced include:
- Increasing police patrols
- Meeting with apartment managers to find out how they are screening clients
- Going door-to-door to ding out who is living in rentals
- Engagement events with residents
- Establish crime watch groups in areas that don’t have them
- Deploy Code enforcement to the area
- Deploy city prosecutors office to root out tenants with warrants
- Recruit community volunteers for initiatives with police
”Seeing is believing,” said Rev. A.D. Smith of Ebenezer Memorial Missionary Baptist Church. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Reverent Smith is on the fence about the plan.
He says consistency must be key. "They’re dealing with politics. We’re dealing with people’s lives," Smith said.
Some neighbors and community organizers say in order for the safety plan to work, more residents have to be involved in what’s happening in the community.
"If the community is not on board and in agreement, because it is more of us than any Code and Officers, it’ll work," Mill City Community Association President Alendra Lyons said.
Dallas Police say the primary focus in the target areas is tackling guns, gangs and drugs. "The thing I would like to do differently is ask the community is walk along beside the officers, and have a join foot patrol," Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery Moore said.
Mathis believes the strategy is a start. "That’ll be a good thing,” he said, “because that’s what we need.” He and other neighbors say they do not want the violent trends to continue into the summer.