on June 7, 2022 / by Dylan Thomas / in Blog Posts, DDI News, Economic Development and Planning, Parks and Public Space, Uncategorized
Downtown Dallas, Inc. Announces New Public Safety Partnerships, Operations Plans for Summer
Nonprofit urges people Downtown to use See Say Now app, call 214-741-1151 to report non-emergency quality of life concerns
Downtown Dallas – Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) on Tuesday announced the launch of its 2022 comprehensive Public Safety Summer Operations Plan. The initiative will proactively address quality of life and public safety challenges as thousands more workers return to the urban core and the convention and tourism industry reports a return to pre-pandemic levels.
The multifaceted initiative is being conducted in partnership with the Dallas Police Department (DPD), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) police, and other government and community partners. It formally kicks off as DDI enters its summer programming stretch, with numerous free public events at Downtown parks every week, including movie nights, salsa lessons, yoga, art exhibits, and more.
“Our city center remains one of the safest Downtowns in the country and we intend to keep it that way,” said Jennifer Scripps, DDI President & CEO. “The majority of our $10 million annual budget is dedicated to our clean and safe initiatives, but we do not do it alone. It takes strong partnerships with the Dallas Police Department, the DART Police Department, and the eyes and ears of our residents, workers, and visitors.”
Among the key tenets of the 2022 plan:
- The expansion of DDI’s innovative “relate and refer” homeless outreach program to include partnership with the DART Police Department. DART officers are now embedded with two DDI Homeless Outreach teams to engage and aid people experiencing homelessness Downtown. Dallas police officers will continue to be embedded with separate DDI Homeless Outreach teams, as they have been for more than 18 months.
- Ongoing collaboration with the City of Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions to continue rehousing people experiencing homelessness Downtown. In 2021, DDI contributed $500,000 to support the Dallas Real Time Rapid Rehousing Initiative, which began housing people experiencing homelessness Downtown earlier this year.
- The relaunch of the DDI Ambassador position, public-facing customer-service focused employees charged with engaging visitors and residents of Downtown about the best restaurants, retail, entertainment spots, etc., while also focusing on keeping Downtown clean and safe.
- The first full summer of operations out of DDI’s new headquarters on the ground floor of The National building adjacent to the DART Akard Station, a more central location for strategic deployment. This is the first time in DDI history that our field operations teams and our corporate employees are located at the same headquarters, helping to streamline our operations and improve communications.
- A communications and marketing campaign pushing the DDI “SEE SAY NOW” iPhone and Android app and dispatch number (214.741.1151) for reporting non-emergency quality of life concerns that do not require an immediate police response.
- Increased on-duty Dallas police park checks and reminders of City of Dallas Park rules.
- Ongoing DDI staff “code walks” to identify and communicate code violations to City of Dallas.
- Continued activations and events throughout the summer at Downtown parks managed by DDI, including Main Street Garden, Pegasus Plaza, West End Square, Pacific Plaza, and our newest and biggest park, Carpenter Park.
The initiative is being led by DDI Vice President of Public Safety & Field Operations Albert Sanchez, a former 10-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department who joined DDI in 2019 and continues to serve as a Dallas police reserve officer.
“We now have the best overall DDI Field Operations leadership team in the history of this organization, including decades of experience in security, homeless outreach, and customer service,” Sanchez said. “We are constantly meeting and assessing intelligence to better inform our strategies to keep the people of Downtown safe and our parks, streets, and sidewalks clean and welcoming. That intelligence comes in part from the people who live, work, and visit Downtown making sure to call us at 214-741-1151 or download and use our See Say Now app to report non-emergency quality of life concerns.”
DDI’s Field Operations team members most frequently respond to calls and app requests concerning sleeping in public, smoking in parks, panhandling, and litter, graffiti, and sticker removal.
“The top priority of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department is keeping our city safe. Partnerships with organizations like Downtown Dallas, Inc. are paramount in our public safety mission. We are committed to maintaining a great relationship with the teams who make up DDI’s Security, Clean, and Homeless Outreach. Together, we work towards keeping our city clean and safer for those who live, work and visit Dallas.” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.
Garcia visited last week with the DDI Field Operations teams to thank them for their collaboration with his officers, telling them, “You’re part of our team,” the chief said. “We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you for the assistance you give us and the residents of Dallas and the visitors to the city of Dallas.”’
The operation will run within the Downtown Improvement District (DID), bounded by I-345 on the east, I-30 on the south, North Stemmons Freeway on the west and Woodall Rodgers Freeway on the north. DDI also remains engaged with key stakeholders in surrounding neighborhoods on matters of public safety
“The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department is committed to working with partners across our 13-city service area to keep our riders safe,” said DART Police Lt. Donovan Collins, commander of Central Business District. “We recognize that criminalizing homelessness is counterproductive, which is why we are so excited to embark on this new partnership with DDI.”
DDI works closely with the City of Dallas, including the Dallas Police Department, and with DART and its police. DDI personnel share intelligence with DPD and DART police officers and supervisors, often providing key information to help solve crimes. Leadership of those organizations also meet regularly to coordinate strategies.
How to Reach DDI Clean, Safe, and Homeless Outreach Teams
You can report incidents through the SEE SAY NOW app, by calling the dispatch number for DDI Security and Clean Team at 214.741.1151, or by texting a report to 972.440.1995.
Hours of Operation:
DDI Security: Daily, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Clean Team: Daily, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Homeless Outreach: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources. DDI manages the Dallas Downtown Improvement District (DID), created in 1992 and renewed most recently in 2020. The DID funds supplemental services and amenities that help create and sustain Downtown Dallas as a clean and safe mixed-use neighborhood. An annual assessment paid by properties in the DID funds safety and cleaning programs, transportation enhancements, park and public space management, economic development plans, promotion of special events, and other services. The current PID term runs until December 31, 2027, with annual budget and assessment rate subject to a public hearing and City Council approval.
About DDI Security
DDI launched the Downtown Safety Patrol (now known as DDI Security) in 2004 to supplement as additional “eyes and ears” for local law enforcement partners, serve as a friendly face of security Downtown, and be a resource for the Downtown community. The team contributes over 90,000 hours of proactive security patrols annually. Security team officers wear royal blue uniforms and drive brightly wrapped and lit micro-vehicles (gem cars, T-3s, and bikes).
In addition to regular patrol seven days per week, DDI Security responds to calls for assistance directly to dispatch and alerts submitted in our SEE SAY NOW app and by text. The team is also available to provide courtesy walks during hours of operation. To provide additional security to our Downtown parks, officers proactively patrol each park, greeting visitors and reminding everyone of the park rules.
About DDI Clean Team
The Downtown Clean Team is a group of full-time employees dedicated seven days a week to keeping the Downtown streets and sidewalks clean by picking up litter, maintaining the parks, removing graffiti, and assisting with many public improvement projects in Downtown Dallas. With the addition of new public spaces and parks, the Clean Team plays a vital role in ensuring all spaces are clean, well maintained, and welcoming to all users. Clean Team members wear green polo shirts, and utilize brightly colored trucks, litter vacuums, GEM cars, and push carts.
About DDI Homeless Outreach
Developed from a pilot program five years ago, DDI’s program focuses on consistent quality engagement to relate to homeless individuals, then refer those individuals, based on specific needs, to applicable service providers for long-term solutions. Our Homeless Outreach team can be found throughout Downtown in purple polo shirts and a branded purple GEM car or van.
About DDI Ambassadors
The DDI Ambassador program will employ a team of high-energy, customer experience agents who engage visitors and residents of Downtown about the best places to eat, shop, and enjoy Downtown Dallas. They provide support for DDI park activations and events, help keep our urban core clean, and collaborate with businesses.
For more information, visit downtowndallas.com
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