DALLAS — Violent crime in Dallas has dropped in the summer months for the first time in recent history. And the number one hot spot for crime has fallen off the list.
For decades, 3550 E. Overton has been the number one most violent area in Dallas until now.
Dallas Police and violence interrupters with Dallas CRED have focused their attention on bringing crime down in that area.
“It has been historically under-served and disadvantaged," said Victor Alvelais.
Alvelais knows the area well. He grew up there.
“I’m 49 years old and they’ve had the same reputation now that they had when I was 9 years old,” said Alvelais.
Doña Elva opened up her taqueria eight years ago on Overton and Illinois. When she opened she and her employees say they were nervous.
"The truth is there was a lot of crime. Thank God we haven’t been victims but all around us there was a lot happening,” said Victoria Mabora, a Dallas resident.
But things are changing in the neighborhood.
”You have a lot of OGs from the hood that want to see the area come up,” said Alvelais.
While Dallas Police have made arrests and poured resources into the area, which was one of their 50 targeted grids, the community has been working to disrupt violence before it happens. The combined strategy has worked.
"That address is the number one grid in our city. The highest count number one and to sit here today to not be number one on the grid any longer is extraordinary and it didn’t happen by accident,” said Chief Eddie Garcia.
"That’s a blessing to hear this area is no longer on the crime grid,” said Alvelais.
At Doña Elva’s they say they’ve noticed the difference.
“Everything is much quieter and safer,” said Mabora.
The summer months are traditionally the most violent time of the year.
“I credit the hard work of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department but also our community partners. We are not doing any touchdown dances but we are proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Garcia.
And Garcia says they have to keep their eye on the ball. Even though the Overton area has fallen off their most violent crime list DPD and Dallas CRED says there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We are not leaving it. We are going to do the best to continue to make it strong with enforcement, visibility and with other city departments,” said Garcia.
“I know personally there has been a change in attitude, direction and incidents but to have it officially documented that this area is no long a technical crime hot spot is a testament to the work we have been doing," said Alvelais.