City leader calls for more support for police as Dallas develops

There are emerging questions about safety in developing Dallas neighborhoods following a violent crime caught on surveillance.

A couple walking their dog in Oak Cliff became victims of a violent armed robbery over the weekend. Just weeks ago in a similar developing neighborhood near Parkland, families woke to a rolling gun battle.

Dallas Mayor Pro-Tem Dwaine Caraway says the solution comes down to better support for police.

Caroline and Garrett Scharton bought their town home in a new development in north Oak Cliff near Kessler Park and Bishop Arts about a year ago. Just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning on Stephens Bluff Lane, they were attacked.

Dallas police say six juveniles, on a crime spree after stealing a car, robbed the Schartons at gunpoint, stealing only an iPhone while the couple was out walking their golden doodle.

After that, police say the teens robbed a man delivering pizza for Domino's at nearby Hampton and Ledbetter.

The family is now considering moving. The Schartons say they wanted to be a part of the urban growth in Dallas, and they understood that put them on the edge of some bad parts of town.

“Before we can encourage people to continue to build and move, we first have to convince them that we're keeping them safe,” Caraway said. “We need to embrace our police fully.”

Caraway says it comes down to money and more money to hire more officers and get them on the streets.

The Dallas Police Department is short-staffed with less than 3,000 officers, according to Chief Renee Hall in March.

“Might have to raise taxes,” Caraway said. “Well, you get what you pay for.”

Just three weeks ago, a rolling gun battle between gangs played out in the middle of the Oak Lawn Heights neighborhood. Bullets flew into a sleeping toddler's nursery on Parkland Avenue. The whole incident captured on surveillance video and on her baby monitor.

“It's not one particular area. It's all over. What do we do? We gotta figure something out,” Caraway said. “We either want to be safe or we want to be sorry.”

The Oak Lawn Heights shootout happened in Councilman Adam Medrano's district. He says there need to be more neighborhood crime watch groups.

Councilman Scott Griggs' district is Oak Cliff, but FOX 4 did not hear back from him for comment.

Caraway says we need to raise taxes and make sure the money goes specifically to police and fire.

Council will start talking about the upcoming budget cycle next week.