on October 29, 2020 / by Downtown Dallas Inc. / in Blog Posts, Clean and Safe, DDI News, Parks and Public Space
Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is proud to announce a recommitment to our Field Operations services, continuing to emphasize our priority on a “Safe and Clean” Downtown Dallas. Efforts include an enhanced safety and security program comprised of improved visibility, response, and coverage, as well as more robust cleaning, maintenance, and homeless outreach services. This strengthening of DDI Field Operations is aimed to best serve you, Downtown’s workforce, residents, and visitors.
Public Safety is always our first priority
In 2004, DDI launched the Downtown Safety Patrol 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. Over the past 16 years, the team has contributed countless hours and efforts on the front lines to positively influence the Downtown experience daily, including over 90,000 hours of proactive security patrols annually.
Like any long-standing program, after evaluation, listening, and understanding Downtown’s current needs, DDI recognized an opportunity to reinforce our priority on a safe and clean Downtown under the leadership of DDI’s Senior Director of Public Safety, Albert Sanchez, whose experience includes 10 years and sergeant rank with the Dallas Police Department. As of October 15, 2020, the now-renamed Downtown Dallas, Inc. Security team (formerly Downtown Safety Patrol) has been staffed to its highest levels to date, graduating a new class of 10 additional officers earlier this month, and recruiting for another to be in training next month, to bring the total number of officers Downtown to 55. Officers will also be more visible, dawning new royal blue uniforms, brightly wrapped and lit micro-vehicles (gem cars, T-3s, and bikes), and strategically placed security stations will be visible in Downtown parks.
The DDI Security team training program is robust, resulting in highly trained, licensed security officers. The officers complete a Texas DPS required certification course in addition to a DDI-designed training program that includes expert-led courses in situational awareness, de-escalation training, crisis intervention, mental health and substance abuse, and DPD led law-enforcement. In addition, VisitDallas assists with hospitality training, along with customer service and Downtown culture curricula.
Mr. Sanchez stated, “Increasing the number of DDI Security officers to historic levels and enhancing our team’s professional appearance will significantly expand our visibility and position us to create a Downtown ‘where all feel welcomed and inspired to dream big,’ which is the mission-driving statement our team has adopted.”
In addition to regular patrol seven days per week in every area of Downtown, DDI Security responds to calls for assistance directly to dispatch and alerts submitted in our See Say Nowapp 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.
A Safe and CLEAN Downtown
At Downtown Dallas, Inc., we work every day to improve the quality of life for everyone in Downtown Dallas, and that means keeping our streets maintained to the highest of standards.
DDI also funds the Downtown Clean Team, a group of 17 full-time employees dedicated seven days a week to keep 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. In 2020, the Clean Team expanded not only the number of employees but also hours of operations, allowing more hours of service since the program was created. And since the pandemic began, the Clean Team has enhanced the aforementioned services and now sanitizes high-touch items in the public space and parks such as tables, benches, playgrounds, and trash receptacles.
DDI has recently doubled our power washing efforts. This enhancement will ensure roughly 500,000 square feet of sidewalks are washed monthly. Power washing services are provided throughout Downtown with a focus on pedestrian corridors and parks.
With the addition of new public spaces and parks, the Clean Team plays a vital and essential role ensuring all spaces are clean, well maintained, and welcoming to all users.
As part of our enhanced services, you will now see the Clean Team out and about in brand new green polo shirts, brightly colored trucks, litter vacuums, GEM cars, and push carts to enhance their visibility.
The mission of our homeless outreach program is to be a steward of Downtown Dallas by implementing a strategic and innovative approach to street outreach, in combination with supporting the homeless solutions community in their efforts to end homelessness. Developed from a pilot program two 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 entire Homeless Outreach team can be found throughout Downtown, engaging with the homeless population in purple polo shirts and a branded purple GEM car.
The team is comprised of an Outreach Manager, Outreach Coordinator, and a Street Outreach Specialist. They are skilled conversationalists with a passion for identifying root causes and building a roadmap out of homelessness for each individual. Through DDI’s program, the team is on track to engage in over 5,000 hours of street outreach annually.
Thanks to the collaboration with the City of Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions and many other partner organizations listed below, we have been able to have a positive impact.
- UT Southwestern Department of Family and Community Medicine – intern program dedicated to building sustainable and innovative programs within DDI’s Street Outreach Program
- The Cardboard Project – collaboration to close the digital divide among the unsheltered homeless and scale virtual street outreach. They provide professional emails and virtual voicemails to help our homeless friends gain employment and other services.
- The Bridge – created a Fellowship program that provides homeless individuals in the transition unit at The Bridge an opportunity to join the DDI Street Outreach Team. The Fellow’s role on the street outreach team is to use his/her personal testimony to connect and encourage the unsheltered homeless to seek resources that ultimately will end their homelessness.
- Homeward Bound Reunification Program – DDI funded program connecting unsheltered homeless individuals to a stable support system via the purchase of Greyhound Bus tickets
“A clean and safe Downtown is the foundation of a strong core,” said Kourtny Garrett, President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. “DDI’s further investment in these programs is a direct result of the continued growth of Downtown over the last decade-plus, and I’m proud of our ability to remain nimble and respond to immediate as well as future needs.”
How to Reach Us
You can report incidents through the See Say Now app, by texting a report to 972.440.1995, or by calling the dispatch number for DDI Security and Clean Team at 214.741.1151.
Hours of Operation:
Daily 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Daily 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Feedback is welcome! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or feedback.
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