DALLAS — Some neighbors in South Dallas are complaining about the increased presence of state troopers they have been noticing in their community. The Department of Public Safety was sent to help the Dallas Police Department with enforcement efforts, after homicides and other violent crimes began to increase since May.
”I’ve been pulled over three times,” said South Dallas resident Todrick Woods.
Neighbors are complaining in the community and on social media about the volume of state troopers conducting traffic stops.
”I feel like they just target over here,” said Quincy Hunter. He explained he’s been stopped by troopers four time over the past three weeks.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott authorized sending DPS in to assist Dallas Police Department. City leaders say the troopers are supposed to assist DPD in its summertime crime initiative. They say the troopers are patrolling certain areas to help tackle violent crime.
Some neighbors believe the state troopers' presence is a positive step toward combatting community safety issues.
”I think it’s a good thing to have the state troopers here, because we’ve had a lot of crime in the area," Business owner Tracy Nixon said.
Others are calling the sudden increase in traffic stops by DPS across South Dallas unreasonable.
“The other day, we literally counted it, 22 times in one hour, between Elsie Faye and Pine," business owner Kelly Champion said.
Champion runs a thrift store on Malcolm X Boulevard. She posted a sign on her window reading, "Dear Troopers Y’all [Scaring] Off My Business."
Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua represents District 7. His office has also been receiving complaints about the State Troopers and traffic stops.
"I’ve gotten calls from constituents in the Latino community, that DPS has asked for papers," Bazaldua explained.
The cross-section of complaints and concerns has Bazaldua hosting a community meeting with leadership from DPD and DPS. The councilman says he wants residents to be heard, especially after the public was told State Troopers would be deployed to help address violent crime.
”In turn, what we’ve ended up getting is a lot of traffic stops that has essentially given the perception of being targeted,” Bazaldua said.
The community meeting about state troopers in South Dallas will be held Tuesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in South Dallas.