DALLAS — Deep Ellum is a popular historic area known for its eccentric art murals, lively bars, as well as vibrant streets. One could easily describe it as a neighborhood that’s withstood the ages. However, some nights along the historic streets are still plagued with darkness.
Just over two months ago, two people were shot and killed at a popular Deep Ellum bar. About a month later, police released surveillance footage of the shooting. The video shows the gunman firing into a crowd at the Bitter End and those nearby can be seen trying to dodge the bullets.
“Deep Ellum is just as safe as any other neighborhood in the city of Dallas,” said Dallas City Councilman District 2, Jesse Moreno.
A new crime fighting initiative, specifically designed for the area, is hitting its one year mark.
Moreno calls it a “successful initiative.”
It’s called the Deep Ellum Community Safety Plan. During a luncheon Thursday, Moreno spoke before dozens of first responders about how crime has been reduced across the entire city within the last year. However, WFAA was not provided with detailed statistics for district 2.
“Deep Ellum is the largest entertainment district in the city of Dallas, we want to continue encouraging people to come down here…," Moreno said. "We also want to send a message that we will not tolerate crime in Deep Ellum, or anywhere in the city of Dallas."
He touched base on 14 other safety-related improvements that were specific to the Deep Ellum area, including a task force that’s active four days a week and surveillance cameras in discrete locations.
For business owners like Lilly Benitez, she said every little bit helps, including becoming self-educated on how to handle potential dangers.
“We’re going to do everything we can. We’re taking de-escalation classes that the business owners and staff are available to do,” said Benitez.
The founder of Blade Craft Barber Academy said everyone has to do their part to help keep crime away.
“For a community standpoint, I think we’re doing as much as we can, and always adding more," said Benitez.
Benitez said that’s really all a person can do.