Dallas leaders hold police-community relations discussion

Dallas' interim police chief joined community and religious leaders for an interfaith discussion on police and community relations.

Hundreds of people attended the Wednesday night event, with topics ranging from crime to police protocol. It comes as a state senator from Dallas introduced new legislation to teach young people how to respond when dealing with police.

After the downtown Dallas ambush on police, residents started meeting and discussing ideas that could make the city safer. They brought those ideas, concerns and problems to the police department and waited to hear how those problems will be addressed.

More than 300 people gathered at the Christian Chapel Temple of Faith in Far North Dallas for a little bit of worship and a lot of dialogue.

Dallas police top brass were the featured speakers. The topics were a handful of issues that have residents concerned: crime, loose dogs, wage theft and the do's and don'ts of being stopped by an officer. They were issues identified by Dallas Area Interfaith in a series of house meetings and neighborhood walks around Dallas after the downtown ambush.

Dallas Interim Police Chief Davis Pughes addressed the issues and answered some pre-selected questions. He said the frequent downtown protests are one way to express a concern, but he much prefers a meeting like this.

State Senator Royce West from Dallas, who could not attend, says meetings like this are exactly what is needed. He recently filed a bill that would require every ninth grader enrolled in public school to get training on how to interact with police.

Many of the citizens here have voiced their fears and now want to hear solutions.

Residents afterward felt like the meeting was well worth their time. Community leaders will take what was said at the meeting back into their communities and have more meetings. Organizers say they'll begin planning for the next one.

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