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South Dallasites Pack Community Safety Meeting In Wake Of Violent Crime Spike

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - In the wake of 41 homicides in Dallas last month - and already four more this month, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall met with South Dallas residents at the MLK Jr. Recreation Center to discuss efforts to fight violent crime.

The police chief said she wanted to leave the meeting with an operational plan.

She - and city leaders - spoke to at least 200 people about how they're working to reduce violent crime.

The crowd gave its thoughts.

"Look what south Dallas can do. Look at all the people in here tonight," said Traswell Livingston.

Livingston said the turnout shows his south Dallas community cares about their safety.

"I'm just hurt that an innocent lady lost her life to bring us here," said an unidentified woman in the crowd who was talking about 56-year-old Sheila Sanders.

On Sunday she was caught in the crossfire of a shooting at Jim's Car Wash off Martin Luther King Blvd and died.

"After the car wash mass shooting, I made a request," said Councilman Kevin Felder.

For years Councilman Kevin Felder has been trying to close the car wash, saying its a public nuisance known for criminal activity.

Jim's Car Wash
Jim's Car Wash (CBS11)

At this meeting, he told the crowd the business now under a judge's order to maintain two peace officers at all times.

"DPD is not responsible for the security of a private business. The private business has to make sure it stays secure itself," said Felder.

Business hours at the car wash will be between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and people will only be able to stay for one hour.

On top of this, Police Chief Renee Hall added her department has analyzed violent crime data for the entire city, identifying the most violent areas and adding resources to them.

Officers on the ground, as well as mounted patrols and bike units. DPS now also stepping in to assist.

"I want you to know that we are focusing on crime in this city as a whole," said Chief Hall.

Meeting attendees say they'll also do their part.

"This is on us. Not the police, not the business owners, not the teachers. You have to to start at home. These are your kids," said another unidentified resident.

Another thing that several people mentioned Thursday night is that they want to see more community oriented establishments in south Dallas.

More fun restaurants, movie theaters, parks with working bathrooms to give people more to do.

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