coronavirus

Dallas Assigns More Officers to Enforce Physical Distancing Guidelines

The city assigned about 200 code enforcement officers to the task Monday

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Dallas city officials said more code enforcement officers joined the task Monday of enforcing physical distance separation to combat coronavirus.

City council members were told on Friday that around 1,600 complaints have been received about people not keeping their distance.

Around 200 code enforcement officers were to be assigned to the task Monday along with parking enforcement and Dallas park rangers.

At White Rock Lake Park Monday, parking lots and roadways were barricaded to motorized vehicles. Parking enforcement people patrolled the park perimeter to be sure vehicles stayed out.

It was a big change from what park neighbor David Linville said he saw Saturday.

“There was not any social distancing. Cyclists, runners, so yeah it’s frightening," he said.

Linville said the barricades went up Saturday night, but vehicles passed the barricades early Sunday before police arrived to monitor the park entrance. They allowed vehicles to leave, but not enter.

“I sat out here for three or four hours yesterday and watched car after car after car just coming down to the lake,” Linville said. “You hate to see something like this, but you hate to see COVID-19 spread amongst Dallas.”

There was still some street parking beside the White Rock Lake Trail, but far fewer visitors Monday. Most of Monday’s visitors came by bicycle or on foot.

“It was busy over the weekend. Today we wanted to get here early, and I see they’re starting to close the parking lots, so if they close, first come first serve. We want to get in and get out,” runner Felicia Caten said.

Her running mate Ben Medina said it was hard to always stay 6 feet away from other people on the trail.

“You’ve got to think whether you’re going to step on dog poop or stay on the trail. So, it’s definitely been a little bit of a concern, but we try our best to keep that distance for sure,” he said. “I would rather be near where there’s fresh air than kind of in a confined space like a grocery store or something like that definitely.”

Dallas has eight park rangers who are working with code compliance officers and parking enforcement people to enforce the physical distancing requirements. So far, Dallas officials have issued warnings but not citations, seeking compliance and not fines or court cases.

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