The neighborhood around the Meadows at Ferguson Apartment complex was different Friday according to the landlord after police activity Thursday at businesses just outside the complex.
Drug dealers typically posted along Ferguson Road west of I-635 LBJ Freeway just inside the Dallas City limits were nowhere to be seen Friday.
Complex owner Hudson Henley, a Dallas Attorney, hired his own military style security for the complex that he and his brother purchased a year ago.
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He said there’s been little support from police in the past.
“I’m very encouraged. This is exactly what needs to be done,” Henley said. “The guys are out there, obviously out there selling drugs. It’s no secret. The police know about it. Just go get them.”
Police would not discuss the nature of the activity Thursday but security guard Keith Hemphill who works for the two businesses outside the complex agreed things were different Friday.
“It’s better. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Everybody’s like a neighborhood. It’s quiet since yesterday,” Hemphill said.
In December 2018, another guard hired by the Texaco Store at that location was crippled by gunfire.
In June 2019, a drug dealer had no fear counting his money right beside Ferguson Road in plain view of a video camera when NBC 5 visited the complex.
In July 2019, the City of Dallas sued the Texaco saying it was responsible for harboring criminal activity.
In November 2019, Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall visited the Texaco store to launch the “Starlight” program with police connected video cameras for round the clock monitoring of the location.
Henley said the real reduction in criminal activity occurred after Thursday’s police activity in the neighborhood.
“I don’t really think you need cameras to see what’s going on over there. It’s in plain view,” he said.
Resident Rico King said he also noticed a difference at the stores Friday. But he said the answer for problems in the neighborhood is a war on poverty, and not police activity.
“There's trouble everywhere in the ghetto,” King said. “You really want to help, get some programs out here. Get some jobs. Get these people jobs.”
Security guard Hemphill disagreed that police enforcement is not useful.
“I don't look at it like that because they are the ones that help us out a whole lot,” he said.
Henley and Hemphill said they hope the improvement on Ferguson is not temporary.
The City of Garland is on the other side of I-635 LBJ Freeway from the Ferguson Road stores and apartment complex in Dallas. The neighbors and landlord say fewer problems have been seen on the Garland side of the freeway.