Downtown Public Safety Community Action Plan – Status Updates 8.24.16

As you know, we hosted a Downtown Public Safety Meeting in January following a series of incidents that heightened concerns about public safety in our community. Coming out of that meeting, we facilitated crafting a Community Action Plan, summarizing the top priorities from residents, businesses owners, and additional stakeholders. We also held a follow-up meeting on February 15th, where the Dallas Police Department (DPD) announced they had caught and arrested the perpetrators from the Davis Building incident, as well as implemented a panhandling initiative aimed at aggressive and repeat quality of life offenders.


1. Residential Property Safety Audits: Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) will reach out to residential property managers over the next 45 days to offer coordination assistance to conduct DPD-led safety audits of their buildings, including parking garages. This will include an emergency access plan for police and fire and recommendations from DPD to improve personal safety of residents.

STATUS: COMPLETE – DDI has reached out to every residential property in the CBD and successfully facilitated completion of the safety audits for 24 residential properties. Safety audit updates and crime watch meetings are scheduled with residential property managers throughout the year.

2. Ongoing Community Collaboration: DDI will coordinate quarterly meetings (more often as needed) to serve as a forum for public safety collaboration. Additional invitees to add to the base of residents at the first meeting will include: DART; The Bridge; Oncor; property owners, managers, and security directors; merchant businesses; and other concerned employers.

STATUS: This process is ongoing. DDI currently provides public safety/crime updates at monthly stakeholder meetings for the Downtown Residents Council (DRC), Downtown Security Directors Association (DSDA), West End Association, Farmers Market Stakeholders, and multiple crime watch meetings. DDI/Downtown Safety Patrol (DSP) has a standing offer to attend and present at any and all resident, neighborhood association, and HOA meetings.

And thanks to Councilmember Adam Medrano, there is now a monthly Crime Watch meeting being held with all relevant parties on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. DDI actively helps promote the monthly Crime Watch meetings to residents and stakeholders.

3. DART and DPD Communication: Several concerns over the communication between DART and DPD were expressed, including statistical reporting and call response.

STATUS: DDI convened a meeting with DART and DPD in Q1 to facilitate identifying and solving these issues. While statistical reporting continues to be a challenge, a monthly task force meeting has been established that includes DPD, DART Police, DISD Police, El Centro Police, and DSP to facilitate a coordinated effort to address public safety issues Downtown including: K2 use and K2 dealers, aggressive panhandling, and other Quality of Life (QOL) ordinance violations.

“A Real Success Story” (March vs. May 2016) – Greyhound


Other ongoing Initiatives include:
 Top 10 Panhandler initiative
 Quality of Life Task Force – West End/Lamar Corridor
 Impact Offender initiative

Additionally, a partnership has been implemented between the DPD, County Jail, District Attorney, and Criminal Courts to: identify, hold on high bond, prosecute, and issue maximum sentences to remove career criminals from Downtown. In the past, low bonds and plea bargains put career criminals back Downtown within 24 hours. The impact offender list ensures career criminals are held on high bond and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (no plea bargains).

4. Neighborhood Crime Watch: DDI will host a series of workshops led by the DPD to offer Downtown-area neighborhood groups, building associations, and the overall community the opportunity to develop and establish a neighborhood crime watch program, building off of the success of the established Farmers Market Crime Watch.

STATUS: Again, we are grateful to Councilmember Medrano for his leadership to establish the monthly CBD Neighborhood Crime Watch.

5. Lighting and Sidewalks: Though significant progress has been made to improve lighting and walkability, dark spots and broken sidewalks still exist in Downtown. Short term, DDI will work with residents to identify “quick win” projects that can be implemented swiftly with available resources. DDI will also engage Oncor in the conversation. Longer term, the Greater Downtown Dallas 360 plan is addressing many of these infrastructure issues to assist in setting priorities for future bond funds.

• DSP officers check all Downtown street lights twice per month to note and report any light outages to private owners, Oncor, and City of Dallas. Most outages are fixed within 36 hours.
• DDI has funded an engineering firm to evaluate and map sidewalk conditions for every sidewalk and crosswalk in the CBD. This report should be complete in Q3.
• DDI will have initial design concepts for 8-10 new quick win projects to present for feedback by mid-summer.
• DDI has funded the design and has designated funds to complete the sidewalk on Main Street to connect Main Street District and Deep Ellum. DDI is also exploring ways to partner with Deep Ellum Foundation to incorporate additional lighting under 345. We are awaiting the approvals and/or additional information from TXDOT and City of Dallas on both projects.

6. Merchant Safety Seminars: DPD is visiting with Downtown merchant businesses to provide safety tips for employees, as well as security audits of their establishments. Contact us if you have interest in this program and we will connect you with DPD coordinators.

STATUS: Ongoing. DPD and DSP regularly check in with businesses to offer safety audits and meetings. DSP and DPD have reached out to all businesses in the CBD offering to conduct safety audits and meetings.

7. Reinvigorate No Panhandling Campaign: DDI will reinvigorate its panhandling awareness campaign that is aimed at educating the public as to better ways to give, as well as the no panhandling law. Businesses may request the DDI No Panhandling posters by emailing

STATUS: DDI has distributed over 250 ‘No Panhandling’ posters to businesses and residents since January. The more permanent orange and white no panhandling signs can be ordered directly from Fast Signs (for a nominal fee). Remember to call 911 on panhandlers, especially if aggressive. You can also call DSP at 214.741.1151 who can assist by calling our off-duty officer for assistance in removing/arresting the panhandler. DPD has made 366 panhandling arrests since January.

8. Lasting Solutions to Address Panhandling, Vagrancy, and Homelessness: These are three distinct issues that require a comprehensive approach including regulation, enforcement, and social services. DDI encourages public policy leaders, related agencies, social service providers, and the community to refocus on solution-based planning that looks at the entire city as a whole, understanding the impact of concentration in Downtown.

STATUS: Ongoing. The DSP and DPD Crisis Intervention Team visit small homeless encampments around the perimeter of Downtown on Tuesday and Thursdays. Homeless individuals are identified and offered transportation to shelters for services. Bus tickets home are offered to homeless meeting reunification guidelines; approximately 150 homeless are reunited with family through this program each year.

Mayor Mike Rawlings has assembled a Commission on Homelessness to address the issue from a broad, holistic perspective. With the community, DDI will continue to monitor and engage in the process.

Additional initiatives:

Thanks to research from the Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association (DDNA), possible opportunities to create an extradition program have been identified. DDI is researching the legality, process, and resources for implementation. Stay tuned for updates at the next Crime Watch meeting.

Also working with the DDNA, DDI has advocated for the continued presence of DPD’s mounted units, which are still deployed in Downtown and making a significant impact!

DDI will fund a homeless encampment cleanup project for a 60-day period (bi-weekly cleanup visits). DPD Crisis Intervention Team member Winford Cross has identified approximately eight small homeless encampments around the perimeter of Downtown Dallas. DSP Sergeant Barry Dyson will monitor the cleanup project with “before and after photos.”
We thank you for taking an active role in making sure our Downtown is safe and inviting for all! We’re all in this together and appreciate your feedback.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Team

DDI Job Opening: Manager – Urban Planning


Manager – Urban Planning

The Manager of Urban Planning is responsible for managing and influencing planning initiatives that impact Downtown Dallas including both public and private projects. Development of policy guidelines and recommendations for enhancement and activation of the public realm will drive Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) positions and work products. The Manager of Urban Planning will report directly to the VP of Urban Design and Public Space.


Primary Job Duties:

• Review private and public developments to ensure all positively contribute to the Downtown environment

• Oversite and project management of Downtown Dallas 360 plan – mobility plan update

• Work to identify and implement component of Downtown Dallas 360 plan and CityMAP

• Oversee and manage transportation/mobility planning and partnerships/contracts for DDI

• Oversee public realm improvements including streetscapes, pedestrian enhancements, lighting, etc.

• Manage and grow DDI’s Capital Grant program

• Research and interpret City Code and other regulatory guidelines for DDI staff, members, and stakeholders

• Consult with Downtown business owners and stakeholders on regulatory approvals for developments and permits

• Develop strategies to further enhance and activate public spaces in Downtown

• Develop and implement strategies to encourage walking and cycling in Downtown

• Interface and consult with City of Dallas Bike Manager on bicycle facilities in Downtown

• Work with DDI staff to craft DDI policy statements relating to planning and development

• Navigate City Hall processes and build/maintain City relationships to help private stakeholders, developments, and projects

• Work with DART on public transportation planning in Downtown

• Compile and produce, in partnership with other DDI staff, reports relating to DDI and private development achievement tracking

• Interface with City of Dallas mobility and transportation planners on manners related to mobility, wayfinding, and transportation

• Work with City of Dallas on planning initiatives such as Neighborhood Plus, Downtown Dallas Parks Plan, Downtown Dallas 360 plan, etc.

• Work with surrounding neighborhoods to support planning in adjacent neighborhoods and enhanced physical connections between neighborhoods/districts

• Analyze existing residential trends, demands, and demographics to further development of housing policy stances that will lead to a diverse residential population


Core Competencies:

• Software: ESRI – Arc GIS, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office

• Ability to interface with property owners, residents, City staff, and elected officials

• Ability to read, interpret, and write City, State, and Federal codes and other regulatory documents

Get to Know: Black Ship Little Katana

We’re excited to announce the start of a new series we’ll publish each month highlighting a different business in Downtown Dallas. First up: Black Ship Little Katana!


A sushi concept from humble beginnings has made its way to the heart of Downtown Dallas.

What started as a kiosk in the Dallas Galleria grew to include prized sushi restaurant Little Katana in Highland Park, inspiring yet another brainchild of restaurateur Odes Kim.

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

Black Ship got its name from the 1852 fleet of four US Navy steamships sent to Japan to open up ports to Western trade. During the journey, the metal ships were stained black by the saltwater and called “black ships” by the Japanese.

Located near the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center, Black Ship’s atmosphere echoes its namesake – lanterns adorn the ceilings and reclaimed wood panels cover the walls.

The diplomatic mission opened up all of Asia, and Black Ship’s dishes reflect the meeting of Eastern and Western flavors. Kim worked closely with manager and family friend Steven Shin to create the Asian hybrid menu.

“To me, fusion is mixing different flavors together and losing the identity of the original dish,” Shin said. “Hybrid is keeping the essential DNA, but adding a few things to Asian dishes making them more palatable to American markets.”

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

One of the best sellers at Black Ship is the Hot Stone Bowl. Essentially fried rice, the dish offers interactivity not traditionally available with fried rice: guests stir the flavorful rice, protein, and vegetables to achieve desired crispiness. Topped with a fried egg, the dish packs a punch unlike regular fried rice, while evoking the pleasure of instinctual and primal preparation.

While the offerings are widespread, Black Ship is known for fresh sushi and sashimi, prepared with attention to detail the way any true sushi restaurant does.

Hesitant to eat fish in a landlocked city? Shin clears the air – the fish is even fresher than coastal offerings because distributors send the freshest fish inland first. Salmon is the bestseller – Black Ship sells 60 to 80 pounds each day.

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

For libations, popular sakes are available, but the handcrafted cocktails are what shine. The fan-favorite Saratoga Milk Punch is a refreshing and balanced combination of rum, Thai chili peppercorn syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla.

Black Ship caters events, or will rent out its space for any occasion. In addition to the large interior, three patio rooms with climate control are available outside.

You can enjoy happy hour weekdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and live jazz music from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Free parking is available as well.

If you’re looking for a laid-back, urban atmosphere where everyone can find something to eat, look no further – Black Ship Little Katana has you covered.

For a chance to win a $100 gift card to Black Ship Little Katana, click here and make sure you follow us (@downtown_dallas) and Black Ship Little Katana (@lkblackship) on Instagram!

To book a reservation today, call 214-760-7200.

For information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit

Black Ship Little Katana is located at:
665 South Lamar St. Suite 130
Dallas, Texas 75202

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Welcomes Amy Tharp as Chief Operating Officer


Downtown Dallas, Inc. Welcomes Amy Tharp as Chief Operating Officer

New role created as a part of DDI’s vision for the future


August 4, 2016 – Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is thrilled to announce Amy Tharp as the organization’s new Chief Operations Officer (COO).  In March of this year at DDI’s Annual Meeting, CEO John Crawford announced a transition plan that named Kourtny Garrett as President, to become President and CEO January 1, 2017, as Crawford steps into a Vice Chair role.  Along with the leadership transition, Crawford announced a strategic plan to increase the organization’s capacity, responding to the growth and evolution of Downtown Dallas.  The creation of a COO role is a part of that plan, as well as the recent announcement of the addition of Doug Prude as DDI’s Economic Development & Planning Analyst.


As COO, Tharp will work in tandem with the President and CEO to shape DDI’s strategic goals and annual work program, with a specific focus on operational execution.  She will be responsible for enhancing the organization’s processes and infrastructure, as well as serving in an external role to build public-private partnerships.  Tharp will be engaged in public policy, governmental affairs, and economic development initiatives, as well as special programs like bike share and education that enhance Downtown.


“Amy is a perfect fit for this role,” said Kourtny Garrett, President of DDI.  “From working on Capitol Hill to the Chamber and running the second largest Public Improvement District in Dallas, her background is a highly unique marriage of public policy, economic development, community-organization, and organizational administrative management.  We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her as a member of the DDI team.”


Tharp joins DDI with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration & Management Information Systems from Westminster College.  In addition to serving on McKinney Avenue Transit Authority’s Board of Directors for the past four years, she has many years of valuable work experience including time as the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Manager of Public Policy, working for two Senators in Washington, D.C., and most recently as the President & Executive Director of Uptown Dallas, Inc.  Just this year, Tharp was accepted into the Leadership Dallas class of 2016, made The Dallas Business Journal’s 2016 40 Under 40 list, was inducted into the Dallas Assembly, and also welcomed a baby boy with her husband.


“I love what we were accomplishing in Uptown, and the opportunity to continue advocating for urban improvements is exciting.  Momentum is building in Downtown, and there’s never been a better time to be a part of the team making it happen,” said Tharp.



About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:


  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination


Our program areas include: public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing.  For more information, visit



Megan Spooner, Marketing Manager
d: 214.744.6651  c: 214.862.4537



New Resource Launched To Help Downtown Dallas by Downtown Resident

Contact: 682-207-8419

For immediate release

New Resource Launched To Help Downtown Dallas

Small Businesses Start And Grow

Dallas, TX (August 3, 2016) – The Small Business Development Initiative (SBDI), an innovative, new

initiative to assist small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs for starting and growing small businesses

launched programming with local representation in Downtown Dallas today. Small businesses are a critical

component and major contributor to the strength of local economies. In fact, since 1995, small

businesses have generated 64% of new jobs but most resources to help small business owners are

considered inaccessible, impractical, or too expensive.

According to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), two primary reasons for small business

failure is a lack of business planning and inadequate access to business credit and funding. The SBDI

focuses on these two areas at no cost to qualified participants as funding is provided through a combination

of grants and sponsorships. With access to a minimum of $100,000 of business credit/funding for every

participant, the initiative is positioned to become a critical resource for small businesses in America.

The free SBDI program includes a local Downtown Dallas representative, Ashley D. Stanley, and provides a

turn-key solution for qualified participants including:

 assistance in developing a written business plan;

 guidance in producing monthly financial statements with a volunteer Chief Financial Officer; and

 accessing business credit and cash funding based solely on the company’s EIN without personal

guarantees or use of the owner’s personal credit.

Unlike other governmental and private resources available, the SBDI will assist, at no cost, a wider variety of

businesses without regard to industry, location or stage of business development:

1. Stage One: Existence (key issues include formation, access to business credit, compliance, etc.)

2. Stage Two: Survival (key issues include cash flow and development of clients)

3. Stage Three: Success (key issues including transitioning owner’s role from day to day “working” to


4. Stage Four: Take-Off (key issue again is having adequate financial resources to grow/expand)

5. Stage Five: Resource Maturity


The Small Business Development Initiative (SBDI) was created through the Business Credit Literacy

Initiative. Visit for more information or to get involved.

July 12th Traffic Update

Due to the Presidential visit and police memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, expect road closures in the Dallas Arts District area on Tuesday, July 12th between 5:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Consider alternative routes to gain access to your office or residence.  No additional information is available.

Despite delays and road closures, Downtown businesses are open and we encourage you to support them.