Special to The Dallas Examiner
In 2019, Dallas experienced and overall increase of 3.9 percent in crime compared to the previous year. Moreover, by mid-December, violent crime had risen by 15 percent, with aggravated assaults up 27.3 percent, homicides up 27.3 percent, and robberies up 14.5 percent.
The most significant increases in aggravated assaults occurred in the Southeast, Southwest and South-Central Patrol Divisions, while most of the cities robberies occurred in the Northeast and Southwest Patrol Divisions.
As a result, Mayor Eric Johnson requested that the Dallas Police Department develop a Plan to reduce violent crime in the year 2020. This plan has been developed to comprehensively guide and direct the actions of the department to reduce violent crime.
On Jan. 1, the Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall an the Dallas Police Department released its 2020 Violent Crime Reduction Plan. The effort outlines the department’s blueprint to reduce the city’s violent crime rate.
The plan included leveraging the success of existing programs and initiatives in combination with new key strategies and initiatives to reduce the crime rate.
It also stated it would rely on collaborative efforts between interdepartmental and external agency partners with both short-term strategies to reduce violent crime in 2020 and long-term strategies that will ensure results are both continued and sustainable beyond this year.
The crime reduction goals for the next 12 months included:
- 10 percent reduction in murders and aggravated assaults in the Southeast, Southwest, and South-Central Divisions
- 10 percent reduction in individual and business robberies in the Northeast and Southwest Divisions
- 5 percent overall reduction in the violent crime category across all divisions
The specific strategies related to the goals and objectives of the plan, available at https://dallaspolice.net/Shared percent20Documents/violent-crime-reduction-plan.pdf, will be presented to the Public Safety Committee on Jan. 13.
“Chief Hall has taken the necessary first step: the production of a public plan to reduce violent crime in our city,” Public Safety Chairman Adam McGough said in a statement to the media. “Important improvements are identified and certain tactics are outlined, such as targeted patrols, a violent crime response team, strategic warrant round ups, and a focused deterrent program. As with any comprehensive planning process, a document now exists for everyone to scrutinize, which in turn comes with the opportunity for increased collaboration.
“Public safety requires intentional partnerships with all law enforcement agencies, but also with the community at every level. To make our city safer, changes are needed both internally in our Dallas Police Department and externally to forces outside of the Department’s control.”
In response to the plan, Johnson released a statement expressing a need for a more aggressive plan.
“This plan is a start. I am pleased to see Chief Hall’s ideas for reducing violent crime in our city. And I am glad to see that she has described this plan as a ‘living’ document, as I have some concerns that I hope to see addressed in the coming weeks,” he stated. “For example, our city’s violent crime reduction goals ought to be more ambitious. We should strive to reduce homicides, aggravated assaults, and robberies to 2018 levels citywide, at least. And over the next five years, our aim should be to reduce violent crime back to the historic lows this city saw in 2013 and 2014.
“I would also like to see more details on the implementation of the strategies mentioned in this plan, including some clear timelines and metrics for measuring outcomes.
“Dallas deserves our very best efforts in the year ahead to ensure that 2020 is safer than 2019, and that our residents can sleep soundly knowing that our police department is working aggressively and strategically toward apprehending and deterring violent offenders. This plan is key to our success in this regard, and I look forward to discussing it in more detail with the city manager and the esteemed members of the Dallas City Council.”