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What is DPD going to do about violent crime in Dallas?

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Welcome to Dallas, TX where violent crime has tenured law enforcement officials lost in the sauce and people are literally dying for solutions. This month those of us unfortunate enough to hail from the “lesser” parts of town have been “talked at” once again, something about cease fire and shaking up mothers for the sins of their sons and daughters. According to recent reports that quote the words of Dallas Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall, she is ready to take drastic measures to combat the reported 6.5% rise in violent crime. Keeping in mind that poverty correlates with violence, community members question her approach to policing. Aside from the fact that she has been accused of misrepresenting a program that could truly be an asset to the city, a program that is said to have been very successful in Detroit under her leadership, her overall attitude towards the people who reside in the high crime areas that she “serves” has been off. People feel left out of the process, they feel dismissed, and they are fearful for the quality of their children’s lives. The culture of apathy for black and brown neighborhoods by local, state, and federal government is what causes the rift between communities and police. Poverty is the driving force for the crime. We need answers that attack root causes as well as criminality.

From a statistical standpoint, crime has categories violent, property, organized, and white collar, just to name a few. The panic in our poorer zip codes is over violent crime, black and Hispanic youth are dying rapidly. Is it gang violence? Robberies? Were they personal disputes? One concern is that if this is a crime spike after 10 years, which is what leadership has alluded to, then we would note and possibly approach this differently than a crime trend, for example. We examine these aspects as Dallas celebrates a drop in overall crime. Scattered data and the up/down manipulation of the numbers, categories, and classifications is why tracking crime stats in the city is key. Those of us that care to look at the results and be a part of the change require information to make informed decisions. As a department that professes a desire to establish community trust, the opportunity to build relationships is now. Exploring the proper allocation of time, manpower, and resources is essential for any effective crime fighting strategy and city residents expect nothing less. We need law enforcement to prioritize 21st century policing and weed out bad apples within the department simultaneously. For instance, Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association has been asked by activists to step down for his vocal resistance to police reform. He is also accused of interfering with investigations, most famously the highly publicized Amber Guyger trial. To boot, several officers have recently been fired for crimes ranging from family violence to mishandling 911 calls. It is because Chief Hall has shown the ability to work with the community that there remains hope for relief.

Most recently however, she has confused us again by announcing that the Texas State Troopers, who actually added to the murder rate this summer on Jamaica St. during their short tumultuous stay, will be back. Residents of the city, specifically in south Dallas are still in the dark on the details of this shooting. Irresponsible decisions like these mostly affect innocent people with very little resources. They do NOT stop the murders. Adam Bazaldua, the District 7 city councilman is one of the people who previously requested that the troopers leave his district in south Dallas. After reviewing the data and listening to his constituency he was able to determine that a mass stop-n-frisk project did not yield enough fruit to justify the 12,000 stops. We know from the last rodeo that they will likely be deployed in South Dallas, Oak Cliff, and predominantly black neighborhoods like the Forest-Audelia area of North Dallas that are largely impoverished. Because of this, the cease fire program originally introduced to us by District Attorney John Creuzot , then again this month by Chief Hall would be something to seriously look into. If violent crime is our focus, the cease fire program at least examines that aspect. According to programs headed in Boston, Oakland, and Newark, the success rate has been an overwhelming 60-80%. As of now, the community just wants to know if Hall’s characterization of the program is accurate. If it is true that mothers of offenders will be arrested and their children removed from their custody it is no wonder the program worked so “well” in Detroit. Mob style policing like this would cause major upset in Dallas.

The premise of Cease fire is to, through trusted elders and community leaders, offer opportunities, jobs, and intervention as needed to address root causes and cut down on crime. One of the fears regarding the program is that paying certain individuals a salary to assist with law enforcement could prove to be a slippery slope if misguided. In an impoverished community it is likely that the community organizations aren’t overflowing with cash either. Bribery is a concern. If a citizens council is selected and given a budget, one that works with but not for DPD, maybe ceasefire could work. It would also be great if the many billion dollar corporations that headquarter here could provide skills training and jobs (with living wages) to the people who need it most. It would certainly justify their presence in a holistic way. Either way, the residents from all parts of the city deserve proper attention and strategy from the girls and boys in blue.

Related links

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2019/11/22/police-chief-u-renee-hall-state-troopers-will-stay-in-dallas-to-help-protect-our-people/?utm_source=pushly/

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2019/11/21/police-officer-at-parkland-in-dallas-arrested-on-sex-assault-charge/

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/economy/2018/12/14/dallas-fort-worth-leads-nation-in-people-relocations-so-how-many-new-residents-is-that-each-day/

Two Dallas ZIP Codes Produce More Inmates Than Any Others in Texas

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall Fires 3 Officers

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/15/Dallas-crime-murder-rate-rises-state-troopers-resident-complaints/

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Dallas Has Spent Nearly $10M On Police Misconduct Lawsuits Since 2015

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Dallas County Sheriffs Department

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44-year-old man fatally shot at Apartments where Amber Guyger killed Botham Jean

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Rodney Lyons was found around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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