DALLAS – There's a new layer of security on the streets in South Dallas.
A new security team is on the ground, patrolling areas where families and businesses have asked for help.
Neighbors are noticing patrol cars with the moniker Heartland Patrol driving through some streets. The armed security officers inside are part of the new South Dallas Fair Park Public Improvement District. Introducing themselves to residents and cracking down on problems impacting quality of life, the officers have been canvassing South Dallas for two weeks.
Captain Ben Carrasco supervises the new security patrol.
"One of our major goals is when they see our patrol cars coming, they know that we are about to get out on them and they leave,” Carrasco said.
The security officers are partnering with neighbors and property owners to address issues.
“This is the South Dallas community taking control of their own situation,” said Jay Scroggins, executive director of the South Dallas Fair Park Public Improvement District (PID).
Scroggins explained, under the PID, property owners agreed to pay an extra assessment. Half the funds are going to safety and security.
We’re just working, trying to clean up the neighborhood,” Scroggins said. “Get all of those bad elements out. Clean the neighborhood up. Make sure the neighborhood is safe.”
The security team says it's working closely with Dallas police and the community. They're tackling issues like prostitution, drug activity, robberies, burglaries and loitering.
“Most of the time when they see us, they’ll just walk off the property without us having to say anything to them,” said Officer Clifton Owensby, of Heartland Patrol.
The security team says it's making its presence known in hopes of making a positive impact.