Dallas Police Devise Plan to Combat Gang Violence

Dallas police say gangs are causing big problems on city streets.

So much so that crime is the worst it's been in years.

Now, the interim police chief has devised a plan to combat it.

Interim Dallas Police Chief David Pughes says South East and South Central Dallas are the epicenters of gang activity in the city.

Officers say they have seen rampant criminal activity recently and now every officer will go through specific training to deal with it.

Residents in the Mill City and Owenwood neighborhoods just south of Fair Park say gangs are a part of everyday life.

These communities are just some of the areas that police say are notorious for drug dealing, burglaries and vandalism.

With an uptick in crime, Pughes says all of his officers will now cross train in the Gang Unit.

The department is bringing everyone to the table including SWAT, Traffic, K-9 units and the Fugitive Apprehension Team.

Pughes says the concentration of enhanced enforcement will hopefully result in an eventual decline of violence that parents like Victoria Benjamin see every single day.

"I heard about a young man getting shot not too far from here and it really hurt me because I have a son myself," said Benjamin. "I mean, the crime rate, the guns they have over here, it's unacceptable."

Benjamin says she welcomes the enhanced gang enforcement.

It's something Pughes says will happen despite the rapid decline of personnel in the department.

The department says the initiative will not take away from daily response to calls because officers are being trained one at a time.

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