A Billboard to Lure a DPD Substation | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A Billboard to Lure a DPD Substation



    Business owners near the Dallas Farmers Market say they are tired of area crime.

    Business owners near the Dallas Farmers Market want a police substation so badly, they've put up a billboard asking for one.

    The billboard which says, "Support your Dallas police. We need you here," is at the corner of St. Paul and Cadiz streets in downtown Dallas.

    A group of area business and property owners say they are tired of the constant crime in their neighborhood.

    "Constant vandalism, property destruction, harassment, theft -- we see constant drug transactions, prostitution," said Tanya Ragan, who owns a building on Park Street. "I mean it's ongoing, every day."

    Property owners say the crime had caused their property values to plummet.

    "These property owners in this neighborhood have become very, very frustrated with what they're dealing with on a daily basis due to The Bridge," Ragan said.

    The Bridge, the city's homeless assistance shelter, opened in 2008 in the 1800 block of Corsicana in downtown Dallas, just a couple of blocks away from the Dallas Farmers Market. Dallas police estimate 1,200 people show up to The Bridge every day.

    "I think -- I don't have the statistics in front of me -- but the first nine months that The Bridge was open, crime was reduced significantly," Assistant Chief Vince Golbeck said. "But there is still that perception, and it only takes a handful."

    The Dallas police substation for the Central Business District is currently located in the West End neighborhood of downtown, on the corner of Lamar and McKinney.

    The property owner has been leasing that space to the Dallas police for $1 per year. But in August, a new charter school will be built in that building.

    "We have until the end of August to find a new home," Golbeck said. "We are strongly looking at that property there on St. Paul and Cadiz."

    Business owners came together to buy the billboard, which sits on the top of the building police are considering moving into. Ragan said they decided to put up the billboard to show support for the police department -- and for the idea of police setting up shop in the neighborhood.

    The city of Dallas is facing major budget constraints. Overhauling the worn building could cost anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million.

    "I think it would be great for that part of downtown, but the same time, we do have to look at budgetary cost," Golbeck said.

    Property owners say they'll do whatever it takes to bring a police substation to their neighborhood, including giving them free parking, donating land and helping with renovations.