by Tony Chai | May 26th 2022
Korean-American community leaders of Dallas invited Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch to Korea Town, in an effort to cope with the aftermath of recent hair salon shooting that occurred on May 11th.
Organized by the Korean Society of Dallas, ‘Luncheon Meeting with J.J. Koch’ was held Wednesday May 25th at Sura Korean Bistro located in a shopping center next to the hair salon where the shooting occurred.
Korean-American leaders’ concerns, among other issues, centered around how to prevent future shooting tragedies and other crimes in the Korea Town and helpi local businesses bounce back from it.
Some of the ideas that were discussed include hosting Police watch tower year-round in the Korea Town, increasing police patrol, and having the city of Dallas officially designate the area as ‘Korea Town.’
Commissioner Koch, with his experience in the county justice systems and background as prosecutor and attorney, offered his advice to Korean-American leaders.
Commissioner Koch pointed out that the Police crime watch tower is only as good as the monitoring capabilities. Commissioner Koch suggested that great prevalence in the use of CCTV’s in the area would be another way of achieving the same result.
While he supports helping out with installing the crime watch tower, he emphasized that it is important to find business owners who would be willing to share the cost.
Commissioner Koch also emphasized the importance of “clear and diligent reporting of crimes.” He suggested that, when reporting crimes, as much of detail as possible is necessary in apprehending the criminals and finding any patterns of crime.
“We may not into get into the report of good description of the individuals which may include symbols that reflect an ideology that is hateful. It is critical that we impress upon business owners and members of the community that properly reporting hate crimes will give us an opportunity to track the individuals that are doing these types of crimes. If we start seeing patterns emerging, we can get better opportunity to get in front of them. If you don’t report the hate crime aspect, the individuals may not get punished for the hate crimes” said Commissioner Koch.
Commissioner Koch showed his trust in Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and District Attorney John Creuzot, who is a retired judge.
“Chief Garcia is very thoughtful. He is tremendous leader of that department. Judge John Creuzot, our current DA, is a member of the other party but I have every respect for him about how he handles his mission and his belief in the justice system. He will do the right thing when those proper reports and data get to him. He will make sure his prosecutors are prosecuting not just shoplifting, assaults but adding the hate crime enhancements” Commissioner Koch emphasized.
When asked by KERA’s reporter Elizabeth Myong about slow Police response time, Commissioner Koch said the long-term solution is to hire more Police officers.
“The problem the DPD in particular is having regarding the response time is largely the fact that they are having a hard time hiring and losing officers quickly. It’s something that the city of Dallas needs to do a better job of. Chief Garcia and staff leadership have done a fantastic job of prioritizing resources. Clearly right now, in this part of the community there is substantial increase of instances so at least on a temporary basis to have more police officers and vehicles patrolling through during this time period is needed” said Commissioner Koch.
“The long term solution is going to have to be making sure that the city council understands that they need to do everything they can to hire more police officers. There is vast area of the city that have terrible, terrible response times. It’s one of those problems that many areas fear. Certain residential areas have neighborhood watch associations pay for those officers to be there during their off-duty hours. That is an option. It’s not something that I want to be a big advocate for because everyone here already pays a great deal of taxes. If you pay for specialized patrol, you can be in a situation where you can get neglected by the regular patrol.”
Sung-Joo Yu, president of Korean Society of Dallas, requested that Commissioner Koch personally help them get connected with the right officials in discussion of installing Police watch tower. Commissioner Koch suggested that the DPD’s Deputy Chief of Northwest division and councilman of the district would be the right people to contact.
H.K. Kim, president of the Greater Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce explained to Commissioner Koch about the need for city’s official designation of ‘Korea Town’ if the community is to bounce back from the tragedy.
“I think that’s a good step regarding civic pride – something that I’ll absolutely support. That would something that’s up to the city. When it comes to funding or anything else we can do to support that, the county will absolutely be there. That’s is nice to have and it’s something that is easy enough to get done” Commissioner Koch responded.