The Dallas Examiner
During an announcement on Monday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed that Dallas, along with most major cities across the United States, had experienced a drastic increase in violent crime. In Dallas, he cited that violent crime was up by 22 percent – over 80 percent of the crimes committed were homicides. He went on to state that the increase was due to drug-related homicides and domestic violence.
Brown stated that the increase was unacceptable to the Dallas Police Department – who takes the safety and security of Dallas residents seriously. And in response to the growing crime rate, he has deployed new task forces.
• The Violent Crime Task Force will be deployed to geographic high-volume violent crime areas.
• The Domestic Violence Warrant Teams will arrest domestic violence offenders in a faster and more efficient manner.
• The Narcotic Drug Warrant Teams will take on the responsibility of closing down drug houses and arresting drug dealers.
• The Property Crime Task Force will be deployed to geographic high volume home burglary and car burglary areas.
• The Community Policing 2.0 will be rerouted from non-patrol bureau positions within the department to the field and will be assisting the department in answering calls.
• Foot patrols mean that officers will proactively walk through high crime areas throughout the city to increase police presence and reduce crime.
The new strategic plan would mean that police officers will have to readjust their regular schedules, assignments and significantly increase their work volume, according to the police chief.
“Most importantly, we are asking our officers to make additional sacrifices and to continue to put their lives on the line to stave off violent crime and arrest violent criminals in a year when officer deaths and injuries due to ambushes and assaults by suspects are on the rise in Dallas, North Texas, and throughout the country,” Brown stated. “I ask that all citizens join me in praying for their safety as they take on this challenge each day to save lives.”
That same day, the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas’ Board of Directors called for an end to Brown’s tenure.
This decision comes just four months after the BPA hosted its annual gala, in which Brown welcomed the guest. While at the podium, he announced a significant reduction in Dallas’ murder rate – the lowest since 1930 – and the decline in “use of force” complaints.
During that time, Dallas Police Association, along with the other local and national police associations, had called for the removal of Brown.
Brown received the support of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Texas state Sen. Royce West, the president of African American Pastors Coalition, other elected officials and local ministers.
The BPA acknowledged its continued support for the department’s chief, explaining that it could not continue to do so blindly, as it described a decrease in morale due to the changes in routines.
“The current atmosphere within the Dallas Police Department is one of vengeance, distrust, retaliation and failure to employ the most prudent use of manpower,” the group cited.
During a televised interview on Monday, the mayor immediately backed Brown – calling him the best man for the job – along with City Manager A.C. Gonzalez.
“Unfortunately, the city is facing an increase in crime after more than a decade of reductions,” he said in a statement released to the press on Tuesday. “We are dedicated to aggressively addressing this spike and returning the tide to crime reductions.
“We must keep in mind that Dallas has seen an overall reduction in crime that is at levels we haven’t seen since the 1930s. With crime rates this low, we expect to see spikes at times, as we are seeing in different parts of the country today. But once we see those increases in crime, we must act immediately so that we do not see chronic problems resurfacing in our community.
“We support Chief Brown and also recognize that this is a tremendous learning opportunity as to how we can make improvements within the police department. The Chief has heard his officers’ concerns and also recognizes the needs of our community.”
Gonzalez further stated that Brown informed him of a phone call from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office on Monday evening, offering state resources to assist DPD.
“Given state and federal resources and the volunteers on DPD staff who are willing to assist, this will significantly change our initial plan to shuffle many of our police officers,” Brown stated.
“The big takeaway for me this week was sustainability. The plan presented to the Public Safety Committee yesterday was not sustainable over a long period of time and it would put a tremendous strain on our police force. It is clear to me that we need a study on staffing models, internal communications, response times and best practices. We are currently identifying resources that can be allocated toward this study within the next few months and I will make sure that the study includes input from our police officers.”
On Wednesday, four former presidents of the BPA rallied, along with several ministers, civil rights activists and community leaders, in support of the police chief.
City officials were not available to clarify specific changes to the new task forces.