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Dallas County's New District Attorney Holds 1st Town Hall Meeting

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas County's new District Attorney held her first town hall meeting on Monday. In particular, Susan Hawk had asked for input from the city's southern sector. The early evening meeting was held in that area, at Concord Missionary Baptist Church.

Hawk would enter the meeting having already established some priorities for the DA's office. She wants Dallas County prosecutors to be more aggressive on domestic violence cases, and more responsive in dealing with protective orders.

There are no votes on the line but, Dallas County's newly elected DA wants something else from the southern sector community that supported her predecessor: a chance.

"I am an ally. I am an advocate for them," Hawk said. "I'm an advocate for every citizen in Dallas County."

Hawk has made frequent forays south of downtown since her election… saying she is committed to building bridges before a crisis hits.

She also said former DA Craig Watkins' popularity in the area is not an issue. "I believe Mr. Watkins started some good things; like the conviction integrity unit, the animal cruelty unit, the civil rights position that was created and we're continuing those good things and we're expanding them and we're gonna make them better."

Hawk said she will make some of those things better by listening to her constituents. Community advocate Hardy Bouyer believes that's a good start. "I think that's a very good thing for that to take place."

Bouyer is among those heading to the town hall meeting. He says many in the community didn't vote for Hawk, but that she's won a lot of respect by simply showing up.

"Her predecessor was very strong in this community, and basically for her to come to his backyard and still listen to the community… that's great."

Hawk said her theory is simple, "When we listen and we understand and we respect, then we can find real solutions."

The new district attorney planned to hold the town hall meetings around the county every quarter. Now, she says they'll likely happen every other month -- with her continuing to listen and learn in between.

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