Over the last several days, people in Deep Ellum have noticed a couple of new additions: Blue emergency phones to get people in danger directly in touch with emergency responders.
According to Councilman Adam Medrano, they’re the work of Asana Partners, a developer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina who’s purchased several properties in the area.
Right now, one sits on the corner of Indiana and Malcolm near the DART rail. Another sits in a parking lot near Braindead Brewing.
“I think it’s great to be honest. I’m an advocate for increasing safety anywhere you go. Especially in a neighborhood like Deep Ellum that’s always been a little rough around the edges,” said manager Keven White.
Nearby at Twilite Lounge, bartender Mark Seyer says they’re a welcome addition for those who leave work in the wee hours of the morning.
“There aren’t a lot of people around the business if you get out of work at 3, 4 a.m. And if something happens on the street, you’re not sure if there’s someone inside a business actually watching what’s going on. You don’t know if you’re just going to be on your own laying in the street for a while,” said Seyer.
Emergency phones are just the latest addition to a joint effort to make Deep Ellum more secure for both employees and customers.
“They have stepped up the police presence down here. The city is trying to make an effort to help us out,” said Seyer.
Right now, those phones are wrapped in cardboard. No word on when they’ll be functional. Both men say, it’s possible they’ll be abused.
“You know, people trying to pick it up and joke dial with it. But overall I feel like in certain situations it would help with communication just to DPD know that there is trouble down here and there response time could be quicker to it,” said Seyer.
NBC5 has reached out to Asana Partners to learn more about when the emergency phones will begin service and whether they plan to add any more.