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East Dallas Neighborhood Trying to Keep Kids Safe

Crime watch asks Dallas police for extra patrols when school lets out

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Saturday, Sep 24, 2011  |  Updated 12:34 AM CDT
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Residents near Truett Elementary are working to increase safety after two students were hit by cars.

Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com

Residents near Truett Elementary are working to increase safety after two students were hit by cars.

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An East Dallas neighborhood watch is working to increase safety after two elementary students were hit by cars while trying to cross the street this month.

A student was hit on Sept. 16 on Peavy Road and another student was struck five days later on Gross Road. Both children survived.

Ellen Childress, head of the Truett Area Neighborhood Crime Watch, reached out to Dallas police to get extra patrols in the area during school dismissal times.

"We get a good benefit from it for two or three weeks and then we need to do it again, but that's not a long-term solution, we all agree," she said.

Students walking around Truett Elementary is a common sight when school lets out for the day.

"The children will be running across the street, between cars, not looking, and the parents are calling them, so they would be more prone or more apt to get hit running across the street," resident Annette Oni said.

New student loading signs at the school are supposed to prevent that by keeping cars moving along the curb for student pickup. But the signs are overlooked or just misunderstood, Oni said.

"If somebody is really coming and they're concentrating on looking at the children, they're not even looking at the sign. The children are not looking at the sign," she said.

Childress said keeping the students safe is a community effort, with DISD, Dallas police and residents putting their heads together.

She said there is mostly a need for education, with officers writing enough tickets to convince people not to stop in the middle of the street to pick up their children.

Childress is also reaching out to DISD to request crossing guards.

"I don't want to stand in my front door and see one get killed or badly hurt," she said.

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