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The city of Dallas is getting aggressive about getting rid of blight in certain high-crime areas, a new program is underway

DALLAS, Texas – The city of Dallas is becoming more aggressive in its efforts to eradicate blight in high-crime areas.

A new program is in the works that will aggressively target code violators for enforcement.

The name of the city’s new approach is “Cleaning and Greening.” It entails the city actively searching for code offenders rather than waiting for complaints.

The owner now has one week as opposed to one month to correct the problems.

In the center of a South Dallas neighborhood, a vacant lot resembling a jungle is surrounded by lawns that have been groomed.

Kevin Oden asserts that such occurrences contribute to criminality.

“Since it is overgrown, you can do it in complete secrecy,” he explained.

Oden is the director of the Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions on an interim basis.

If we modify the environment, we reduce the likelihood of criminal activity.

The city of Dallas utilizes the “risk terrain model” data system created by Rutgers University criminologists.

The data is compiled through 311 calls, information on vacant properties, and crime statistics.

“It is necessary to consider not only where the incident occurred but also what is in the area,” Oden stated. “Exist any unoccupied lots? What forms of homes are there? When the information is compiled, it assigns a risk and states, “This region is at danger for future violence.””

Consequently, the city’s new Cleaning and Greening Plan is created. Currently, it is focusing on two of the most dangerous neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods are located in South Dallas at Malcom X and Marburg, and in East Oak Cliff at East Illinois and Bonnie View.

“We can station officers in high-crime areas. However, if it does not improve the quality of life, crime will persist “Oden added.

The plan calls for the city to deliberately seek out code infractions, rather than reacting to complaints, and to give property owners seven days instead of 30 to conform before taking action on its own.

Kashina Shine, a code enforcement officer, asserts that their presence is welcomed in the community.

“When we told them we were there to reduce crime and improve the quality of life, there was little resistance,” she said. We developed contacts with a large number of residents.

In addition, the city has invested in improved lighting.

Oden claims the plan is effective.

The crime rate in the Malcom X and Marburg area is 10% lower this year compared to last, he said.

The city’s plan is modeled after a Philadelphia-born initiative. There, the city collaborates with non-profit organizations to remove waste, plant trees, and erect fences.

According to a recent document, Dallas may eventually expand its beautification efforts to include fresh paint and the replacement of boarded-up windows.

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