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It's just criminal — Dallas apartments are top location for murders and robberies

A Dallas police officer parks across the street from the Dallas police headquarters, near a neighborhood on Belleview St. in Dallas.
Keren Carrión
The Dallas Police Department is working on a plan to reduce crime at apartment complexes.

Apartment complexes are the number one location for murders and robberies in Dallas. and the Dallas Police Department hopes to change that.

Sergeant James Stephens went over a plan to address the problem with the city's Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

“Overall our goal is the reduction in crime victims, reduction in call load, and positive feedback from the community,” Stephens said.

DPD hopes to create a team that would include police and code compliance officers who would focus on apartments with the highest crime rates.

The team would evaluate apartment security measures, patrol hourly and partner with city departments to implement “tailoring solutions to problems and evaluating their effectiveness.”

DPD wants to also boost community engagement by talking to residents at crime watch meetings, youth events and neighborhood community walks about what they're experiencing.

Some council members were not satisfied with the plan. Tennell Atkins said DPD needs to find out more about each apartment's security measures before the deploying officers.

“Who is the security company? What kind of qualifications they got? Who they are? And what day they have security and what day do not have security?” Atkins said.

Atkins said he also hopes to see DPD bring apartment complex owners and managers to the table.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn said she thought the police department would have come up with code requirement suggestions.

“What would happen with gates, lighting, security and cameras,” she said.

Mendelsohn said she believed the point of the plan was to set security standards for apartment complexes “so we can actually head off the problems we have at existing apartments.” She said she expected more given the months DPD spent on creating the plan.

Council Member Adam McGough said he was concerned that DPD didn’t have enough resources to start engagement at apartments. DPD officials said there are only nine officers dedicated to community affairs, less than a third compared to two years ago.

The committee asked DPD to come back with clearer recommendations on safety measures that would address crime before it happens.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member for KERA News. Email Alejandra at You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.