DALLAS -- After a shootout on Sunday, a discussion was sparked among neighbors about the issue of police presence in Dallas.
The gun battle happened on Parkland and Crestview in the Oak Lawn Heights district. Neighbors say this is generally a safe area. “It has nothing to do with our neighborhood,” said neighbor Brad Breitbarth. He realized it was a random attack, “They just happened to pick this street.”
While it may be random, it still called for a conversation about the ongoing police shortage in Dallas.
Neighbors took to the NextDoor application. They talked about how to bring police shortage to the attention of city leaders. Some even sent emails and letters to the mayor’s office. The post by neighbor Eric Greathouse reads, “I urge EVERYONE to take 5 minutes to write to them and let them know your concerns about the lack of police presence and the uptick in crime recently.”
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano joined in on the conversation. “There is a shortage. We are losing officers,” he said in an interview with WFAA, “What are we going to do, you know? We’ve got to work towards keeping our officers here.”
Medrano said the average response time is seven to eight minutes for a priority one call in Oak Lawn Heights. This matches the targeted response time for the Dallas Police Department, but Medrano would like to see that number get smaller.
In the meantime, he encourages residents to attend the monthly neighborhood watch meetings. One is coming up on July 18 for the Oak Lawn Heights area. He said this is a way for people to get to know their neighbors and area police officers.
As far as the shooting, the Dallas Police Department is investigating the shoot-out. “Detectives are working really hard on this case. I like the direction this case is moving,” said Deputy Chief Thomas Castro. He said he couldn’t go into more detail on the investigation.
Castro acknowledges the shortage of law enforcement officers as well. “Sure, we would like to have additional resources,” he said, “But I assure the citizens that we are managing. We are able to take care of their needs and we will continue to press on.”
Neighbors like Breitbarth believe officers are doing everything they can. Breitbarth said, “With what resources they have, they’re doing great.” He hopes more resources will pour in to the Dallas Police Department. “It’s critical for us to support our police.”