DALLAS - Dallas police and Dallas Marshals have teamed up to provide a better sense of safety in the downtown area. It comes after a series of violent attacks downtown.
Officers met with neighbors Thursday night to discuss the ongoing problem and possible ways to fix it.
The new joint effort, which launched on Thursday, teams up DPD officers and officers from the Dallas Marshals Office. At least once a week, 20 extra officers will be on patrol in the Central Business District, which includes Downtown, the West End, the Farmer’s Market, Cedars and Deep Ellum. Meanwhile, they're also refocusing efforts to make more arrests.
Steven Wollard was walking home in Downtown Dallas Sunday when he says a man suddenly pulled a knife on him. He recorded the end of the incident with his cell phone.
“When I got within 12 feet of him, he whirled, pulled a kitchen knife out of his pocket and started screaming,” he recalled.
Dallas police arrested the man and say he has several prior charges on his record. Residents say recent similar incidents are increasing their concerns.
“There's nothing happening that’s dealing with this situation,” Wollard said. “It's like we're just waiting for something really bad to happen.”
Since August, two men have been murdered in stabbings downtown, and two women were stabbed by a homeless man at an apartment building on Main Street.
“There is concern in downtown regarding some of the violence just here in the last three or four months,” said DPD Deputy Chief Lonzo Anderson.”
Downtown residents, including Wollard, met with police Thursday to talk about their concerns.
We need change now,” said Derek Stapleton, president of the Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association. “There's a lot of plans that will take multiple years to really make a big movement.”
Dallas police launched a new partnership with the city marshals Thursday to bring more officers from both agencies on foot patrol in the area.
“We're going to identify hot spots based on current intelligence and past intelligence and what type of crimes are being committed,” said Deputy Chief Anderson.
DPD says they're also cracking down on K-2 on the streets and focus on felons known to hang out around downtown.
“We do have a running list, and we do brief our officers,” Anderson said.
The Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association says they met with the city manager and other neighborhood associations quarterly to address concerns. There's talk about moving some homeless shelters so they're not all focused downtown in a way to help with downtown issues.