The crime rate in Dallas has dropped, which means we’re no longer the most dangerous city in the United States. We asked a few crime captains for Oak Cliff neighborhood associations to find out if they notice less crime, and whether they feel safer. Most said their neighborhoods always have taken crime prevention seriously. Some have come up with innovative ways to mitigate crimes such as burglary.
“I feel safe in my neighborhood,” said Val Haskell, a past crime chair of the Kings Highway Conservation District. The association’s efforts over the past decade have made a difference, she added. “We’ve done a lot of things to make it a stronger community.” Kings Highway residents get to know one another at neighborhood events, which goes a long way in making a neighborhood safer, Haskell said.
The Hampton Hills neighborhood takes a similar strategy, said Cliff Garinn, the neighborhood association crime co-chair. “We have a pretty tight-knit little group,” he said. Most residential property crimes happen during the day when most people are at work. So the association made a list of all the neighbors who work from home, are retired or otherwise are at home during the day. If any funny business goes down, they are quick to set off a phone and email chain to notify everyone, Garinn said.
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George Lee of the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association credits the North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol for reduced crime in the area. The patrol consists of off-duty Dallas Police officers, who they hire with funds from neighbors’ donations. The program started in Kessler Plaza, but has expanded into several Oak Cliff neighborhoods.