Today, DPD Chief Eddie Garcia unveiled his long-term crime prevention plan. The main takeaways include efforts to reverse the uptick in violent crime, reduce the number of overall victims, and to build trust in communities while improving the conditions within them.
Keep Dallas Safe has been in support of Garcia’s willingness to tackle the growing violent crime in Dallas. From his first day in uniform, the Dallas police chief has proven he is aware of, and ready to fight against the absurd murder rate. 2020 saw the highest number of murders in a decade and 2021 is shaping up to surpass it, and it is only mid-Spring.
The details of the 29 page plan, as outlined in the Dallas Morning News 5/4/2021, describe centralized areas of crime located in small areas of Dallas. Garcia’s crime reduction plan relies on data collected and analyzed by experts from a Texas based university.
The top priorities outlined in Garcia’s plan are:
1. Hot Spot policing in neighborhoods that saw the largest spikes in crime.
2. Focus on deterrence: providing intervention before violent crime occurs.
3. Utilizing code enforcement to zero in on urban blight, which can help identify homes in which criminal activity is/could be occurring.
What is noticeably missing from Garcia’s strategy is to increase the number of officers in the DPD. Dallas continues to grow in population, however, our citizen to officer ratio is the lowest in a decade; an interesting correlation to the rapid increase in violent crime.
In 2000, Dallas PD had 3,389 sworn officers. In 2010, DPD had 3,012 sworn officers. Today, The Dallas Police Department has roughly 2,900 sworn officers. With a population increase of 15%, DPD officers have decreased by 17%.
That is why our 911 response times are up. That is why the leadership in the city is pushing citizens to report crimes to an APP: where no officer is present, there is no evidence taken, there is no follow-up. It is unacceptable.
Keep Dallas Safe is encouraged by the tenacity of Chief Garcia to get things done. The basics of his plan are more promising than those of who held his position prior.
We remain skeptical, still, of how he will achieve his ambitious goals without a fully staffed police force, and an increased budget. We need at least 1000 more sworn officers, and ideally twice that.
KDS is anxious to see how Garcia’s plan takes shape but will reserve our judgement until the bodies stop arriving at the county morgue.