How Things Look 18 Months After the Feds Embedded Into Northeast Dallas’ Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

As I left the 24 Hours Store in Vickery Meadow back in December — when it was still a home base for loiterers and troublemakers — a young teen, perhaps not even that old, shoved a handgun into his waistband as he and his crew darted past me.The scene served as a first-hand reminder of the drug sales, gunfire and fights that made the area around the adjacent Five Points intersection so treacherous.Equally grim scenarios played out daily in northeast Dallas’ other two hot spots, Forest-Audelia and Skillman-Whitehurst, which, respectively, hug the north and south sides of LBJ Freeway.But since the feds embedded into these three high-crime areas 18 months ago, the stories about bad guys in the rental-heavy and aging-retail-center neighborhoods have slowed considerably. These days, when I scour the parking lots, bus stops and apartment commons, more people seem to come and go with a purpose — a legal one.Facts back up my eyeball test: Violent crime has dropped 3%, officers have made 200 serious-offense arrests and leaders have hosted more than 100 community-building events.  Continue reading...

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