Last night, the Dallas Police Department hosted a community meeting at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church following a gun and drug bust days prior.
The bust saw the arrest of 21 people possessing guns, counterfeit pills and pounds of cocaine.
Several police majors spoke to the community and answered questions on the status of plans and programs for the community.
Members from the community and city officials, including Tevar Watson, coach of the North Dallas United Bobcats and Councilman Adam McGough, also spoke on the status of the community and reducing crime.
Police said they want to increase transparency in communities through these meetings because they used to not be as transparent or open to hosting these discussions.
Major Leroy Quigg says there’s more to policing the community than jailing people, they want to bring resources to help.
“I learned that after 30 years of policing, we need to do something more. The commitment is to try to do something different so we don’t experience kids getting shot at while they’re trying to practice football,” he says.
There was a recurring emphasis on the Hamilton Park youth and directing them to recreational programs to deter them from crime. Office of Community Affairs Manager Robert Munoz brought up ideas for implementing boxing and jiu-jitsu and basketball and requesting feedback on what other police engagement Hamilton Park would like to see.
“We want to give these kids an outlet, we want to show the value of the Dallas Police Department,” Munoz says.
Watson also added to that point by sharing the community can restore its status by starting with the youth.
“The way to clean up the neighborhood is to start with the youth, because once you get a hold of them at an early age, you plant a seed in them,” Watson says. “There’s a lot of stuff going on out here, but we still are a great community to be a part of.”
McGough stated there’s still progress to be made in Hamilton Park that requires better communication among police, the community and the city.
“There’s a lot more work to be done,” McGough says. “We need more communication, we need everybody working together.”