The Downtown Dallas security team is increasing its patrols after a woman was violently robbed and other recent crimes.
Red Ledbetter was walking home with a friend around 3:30 Tuesday morning when three men attacked and robbed them near Ervay Street and Main. Two of them were on rental bikes and a third on foot.
She says the recent revitalization downtown will be a waste of time if the area isn’t safe.
“We don’t just work down here we live down here and we are a tight community,” she said. “It was a little PTSD kind of a thing where I panicked every time I saw somebody on a bike or someone who looked a little squandry.”
Now, at the request of city council members, Downtown Dallas Inc. is increasing its safety patrol from midnight to 3 A.M. for at least the next few weekends.
“I knew DDI would step up. Downtown Dallas Inc. has been a huge proponent of walkability and urbanization and AT&T complex and people moving downtown. That’s their job,” said Letbetter
The security team offers an escort for anyone walking home or to their cars, something Letbetter is happy exists.
“For the service industry That’s huge. The doors Don’t lock til 2. It takes time to get the bar or restaurant ready. Even those that close at midnight it could take an hour or two and those kids have to go to their cars.”
One drawback is that the safety patrol team is not made of police officers.
“This is not the answer this is a temporary assistance to a big, big, huge problem,” said Letbetter.
She blames DPD’s officer shortage for the lack of patrols downtown.
“The DPD are my heroes but again they can’t come if they don’t exist. They can’t walk the street if they’re also driving in a completely different neighborhood. What are we going to do about that problem?”
City council members Philip Kingston and Adam Medrano say they met with police this past week and DPD is planning a response of its own downtown. No word yet on what that plan will look like.