DPD Chief visits South Dallas residents hoping to improve the neighborhood

The Dallas Police Department continues to battle crime with about 500 fewer officers than it once had. 

Chief Reneé Hall took the streets of South Dallas, Saturday, to show residents that she is committed to making their neighborhood safer.

“The message is we're committed, we hear the concerns of the community and we are responding,” said Chief hall.

Michael Stephens owns Texas Bearings of Dallas Inc. on 2nd avenue.

“To see the Chief out, I was shocked,” he said.

Stephens sells components for road work to large manufacturers across the country. He says crime in the area is hurting his business and the city’s image.

“This person had difficulty getting out because someone buying drugs parked their car in the driveway and then he walks down to meet the dealer. He's trying to get out to go to work. It looks bad,” he said.

Concerned, Stephens reached out to Councilman Kevin Felder.

“Hearing many concerns from constituents talking about prostitution gambling drugs selling stolen goods, this has to stop,” said Councilman Felder.

Felder says he has a 7 part plan for South Dallas and this police walk was the first step.

“We want South Dallas to be as safe as North Dallas,” he said.

Chief Hall admits that she’s working with fewer police officers than she would like. That is due to budget issues and difficulties recruiting officers.

“Despite the numbers we have in Dallas, these men and women go out each and every day and make it happen. That's indicative of the numbers we have where crime has decreased. We have 400 plus fewer aggravated assaults this year than last year,” said Chief Hall.

Stephens has tried to get the attention of city leaders before. He is hopeful that this time will be different. 

“When you're out walking the neighborhood it's like you're claiming your territory your right.” he said. “I don't see the usual crowd usually working this neighborhood. They disappeared. That's the message it sends; you need to disappear.”

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