Downtown Dallas residents organize safety walks

After another spike in high-profile crimes in Downtown Dallas, a group of residents and police are teaming up on the streets to target problem spots and report back.

Some of the people involved with the Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association have felt as if they are overlooked. Their event Monday night a way to shine a light on issues that they saw they see all the time.

The group organized a safety walk on Monday. Around 30 residents and a couple officers teamed up to walk the streets and to report any issues they witnessed to the authorities.

“We want to help the police out. They are understaffed right now,” said Derek Stapleton who lives in downtown. “They need extra eyes and ears to draw attention to some of the hotspots.”

The volunteers took note of issues with the homeless and panhandling. They even reported other problems like bad lighting.

The walk was organized after several high-profile attacks in downtown over the last couple years. The most recent one happened to Red Letbetter, a past neighborhood association board member. She was attacked and robbed on her way home just a couple weeks ago.

Since that attack, the downtown safety patrol has expanded its hours. DPD says it plans to make changes as well.

“It was worth everything that I went through if this is what happens,” Letbetter said.

The group also took notes that they will bring up when they meet with Dallas City Manager TC Broadnax for a quarterly meeting later this week.

The neighborhood association also said they have a meeting with DPD Chief Renee Hall next week. In the past, the association has been upset because Chief Hall was a no show at two meetings. They hope to hear some tangible plans for change now.

The group plans to have another safety walk soon.