Project Safe Neighborhoods has made more than 100 arrests in Lake Highlands. More than half of the arrestees face federal charges.

But the Bureau of Justice Assistance program’s biggest accomplishment is shuttering J’s Food Mart, a crime hot spot at Whitehurst Drive, according to Dallas Morning News columnist Sharon Grigsby. 

“The tense vibe that permeated the blocks around J’s has been replaced with a more neighborly feel,” she writes. “Residents are walking their dogs or waiting for the bus without fear. For the first time in many months, their sleep is not interrupted by a barrage of gunfire.

“The feds, arm in arm with Dallas police, remain embedded in this part of the city, their presence advertised by the large Project Safe Neighborhoods placard they’ve just posted on J’s door. It reads: ‘This area is under law enforcement surveillance. PSN agents are monitoring this location. Crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’ ”

Project Safe Neighborhood is targeting violent offenders and gang members to reduce crime rates in northeast Dallas.

“These individuals who are plaguing our system, who are keeping it an unsafe place for our children to play, for us to work and live, we need to make sure those individuals are away from our neighborhood,” Police Chief Renee Hall said at an Exchange Club meeting in June.

You can read the entirety of Grigby’s column here.