Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall faced a room full of neighbors who say her officers need to be doing more in Pleasant Grove.
Hall said Tuesday night’s meeting was different than previous listening sessions because people spoke explicitly about what officers were not doing.
There’s frustration with response times, but also an understanding that Dallas police are limited in resources.
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People packed into a room at Eastfield College – Pleasant Grove Campus to say they wanted to collaborate with police, but felt those who patrol their neighborhoods were falling short.
“We’re trying to do our part, but we’re not getting the support,” said one resident during public comments and questions.
District 5 encompasses much of southeast Dallas and Pleasant Grove. Those at Tuesday’s listening session said street racing was a top concern.
It’s been so much of a problem that city councilman Jaime Resendez recently rode with officers to see the problem first hand.
Residents said it’s been a problem for years and isn’t getting better.
Hall said illegal street racing is on Dallas police's radar, and they’ve formed a task force that includes Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.
“We have a task force in multiple areas of the city that weekly and nightly and sometimes weekends go out,” Hall said.
Random gunfire is also a major concern in District 5. It’s a problem Hall said is a common theme she’s heard across many districts.
But she acknowledged resources are limited.
Maj. Reuben Ramirez, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said one way to combat the shortage of officers is collaboration with the community.
“We’re working really hard in recruiting and we’re going to get those numbers back up. But in the meantime, it is challenging, and it does cause us to get really creative,” Ramirez said.
Yolanda Williams said she has lived in Pleasant Grove more than 40 years and agreed with the chief’s message. Police can’t do it alone.
“When it comes to drag racing, crime, shooting the guns in the air neighbors don’t want to report neighbors. So, my message is, we live in the community, it’s our responsibility to help police the community,” Williams said.
At one point during the meeting, people called for the return of a Texas DPS presence. In November, Resendez suggested a DPS presence, specifically for the street racing issue.