Dallas Police Deputy Chief Andrew Acord commands the northeast division of the Dallas Police Department. He spoke in 2015 about ways to deter young men in the neighborhood from crime.

Dallas Police Deputy Chief Andrew Acord commands the northeast division of the Dallas Police Department. He spoke in 2015 about ways to deter young men in the neighborhood from crime.

Despite recent major and concerted efforts to quell violence in the Forest Audelia vicinity, as well as other crime hotspots around Dallas, murders are on the rise, accentuated by a recent, reportedly marijuana-sale-related, double homicide of two young men inside an apartment on Forest Lane near Woodbridge. Woodbridge is the very street that Murray Morgan, president of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association, lives on. The El Dorado apartments, where this most-recent slaughter occurred, are maybe 500 yards from his front door.

Morgan talked to us just two months ago about association’s efforts to improve safety in the area, a dense square that has, for more than a decade, been known for its problems (see our 2009 story). Since then, we have seen a visible effort by police to patrol and preempt neighborhood crime.

There is the the formation of the new 170-officer Violent Crime Task Force.

Prior to that, police and our city council representatives along with neighborhood activists implemented programs to encourage local apartment owners to support improvement by better screening renters and complying with city codes.

Recently police from the northeast division launched a series of neighborhood fairs, including a festival last fall. At the time, Deputy Chief Andrew Acord acknowledged that young men often are at the center of the violent crime trends, hence the three-point contest and a rap battles that are the heart of these gatherings.

“You hear people talking about gangs over at Forest-Audelia,” Acord says. “Well, in my opinion, they are, maybe, kind-a, sorta, but not really. They are mostly just kids who are astray. They think they are gangs, but in the true sense of the word they are not.”

And we’ve lost several young men, like Simba Porter and Chris Gordon, to this dangerous atmosphere over the years. Now add Skokee Clay and Donya Flowers to a list of grieving parents who have lost young-adult children. They were on WFAA this week, part of a story about Dallas’ rising murder rate.

Police last Thursday discovered two bloody bodies inside apartment #6205. One, Dymdric Williams, was dead at the scene and another, Taydren Young (son of Clay and Flowers), died later at Presbyterian Hospital. Both men were in their early 20s.

Witnesses say the guys were engaging in a drug deal with a man named Stone, according to a police report, later determined to be one Leonte Demond Stone, a 23-year-old black male for whom they have issued an arrest warrant for capital murder.

Police say Stone and another suspect in the double homicide also are both still at large.

According to the report, there have been 41 killings in 2016 compared to 24 at this point last year. Critics of police chief David Brown tell WFAA there is chaos and low morale within the department that is contributing to policing problems.

A police spokesperson says the majority of this year’s murders are related to drugs and family violence. More at WFAA.

Related: “How dangerous is Lake Highlands? It’s not so simple.”