Dallas police officers interact with children at Forest Audelia.

Note: Today’s community walk has been canceled, according to DPD reps.

Officers from the Dallas Police Department’s Northeast Division will host a community walk Dec. 18, and they’re hoping the event will help reduce violence and forge neighborhood connections in north Lake Highlands.

“The walk is aimed at taking back our community and stopping the violence in the Forest-Audelia area, one block at a time,” says DPD’s Bervin Smith. “The community’s support and attendance would be greatly appreciated.”

The Forest-Audelia area has long been a hotspot for violent crime, earning the nickname “Northghanistan” by gang members in 2016. Merchants in one shopping center famously used classical music to drive away derelicts, and Councilman Adam McGough worked with DART officials to remove the corner’s bus stop widely known as a hub for drug deals. A boxing gym there matches DPD mentors with teens and keeps them productive after school.

Walk participants will gather at 10 a.m. in the shopping center at 9779 Forest Lane and walk in the neighborhood for about one hour.