Dallas Summer of Safety Events for Kids

Children playing
Children playing | Image by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

The City of Dallas revealed its list of summer programs designed to foster better relationships between youths and police officers through various activities, including fishing and boxing.

This year’s Summer of Safety offers various programs to Dallas youths in the coming months. The initiative, spearheaded by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, is currently in its third year.

“[Children] are susceptible of being involved in a crime. It’s not just as a perpetrator. It’s as a victim. So we have a real concern about our children being in harm’s way and being a victim of a crime during the summer,” Johnson said at a press conference kicking off the campaign on Monday, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

“So we are going to be proactive about protecting them in the summer. So three years ago, we came up with this thing to keep kids in our community safe all summer long,” he said.

For those looking to get a taste of law enforcement, check out the Dallas Police Explorer or Dallas Junior Explorer programs, which are open to residents between the ages of 14 and 21 and 9 and 13, respectively.

Run jointly by the Dallas Police Department and the Boy Scouts of America, the explorers will learn about responsible citizenship, the value of community service, and leadership skills. To attend, please email [email protected] for more information about meeting dates and registration.

Cooling Off Crime events will also be held in various apartment complexes around the city, such as at the Rosemont at Meadow Lane on Friday, June 28, or at Cherokee Village Apartments on Elam Road on Friday, July 19. Please see the City news release for more information.

Recent community meetings for #Dallas365Safe, a public safety initiative organized by District 4 Council Member Carolyn King Arnold, have focused on youth crime. Speakers and attendees remarked on how family violence tends to spill over into schools and stressed the importance of community involvement in curbing it.

“We got to find the solutions to keep guns out of the hands of our children. … This is a ‘we’ problem,” Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson said at a meeting attended by DX in April.

In another meeting in May, finding a positive role model for children and improving youth relationships with police were highlighted as key.

“We have to have that relationship. It has to be a real relationship,” said Antong Lucky, the founder and former leader of the Dallas 415 Bloods Gang, who has now become a public safety advocate.

DPD resources are currently spread thin, with just around 3,000 officers in service citywide. However, a City report called for a force of around 4,000 to ensure public safety needs in a city the size of Dallas. City leaders approved a budget of just $654 million for DPD this fiscal year, which is considerably less than the sums allocated to law enforcement in other high-crime jurisdictions, including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Other community-centered summer programs for kids in Dallas involve learning a new skill.

For instance, kids can enroll in Boxing Programs with DPD at three partnering institutions: Janie C. Turner Recreation Center, Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center, and Forest & Audelia Boxing Gym. Those interested should email [email protected] for more information.

Thanks to the UNIDOS Kids & Fishing event planned by the Office of Community Affairs, some lucky kids have already gotten to fish at William Blair Jr. Park. Families cast their lines with DPD officers last week.

On Wednesday, July 10, DPD will hold its 2nd Annual Kids Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Grauwyler Recreation Center
  • Bachman Recreation Center
  • KB Polk Recreation Center
  • Arlington Park Recreation Center

There will also be several City programs designed to build character and strengthen minds.

For instance, school-aged children can sign up for free to join the Jubilee Park Community Center Kids Summer Camp. Field trips, games, art projects, and more await; however, space is limited, so register early.

The Youth Empowerment Expo will be held on Saturday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cedar Crest Community Center. It will provide opportunities for kids to find inspiration in an array of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) activities, workshops, and demonstrations. Please register for this event here.

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