Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Has a Plan

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Has a Plan

Look at let’s take a what Mayor Eric Johnson called today the most important document coming out of the city hall this year.

Police Chief Eddie Garcia presented the Dallas Police Department’s 2021 Violence Crime Reduction Plan to members of the city council this morning, outlining a new approach to police operations in Dallas. Police will focus on conflict areas where the majority of violent crimes occur and work more closely with public and private organizations, including city law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and local businesses to address this issue. We are cooperating. To do. The root cause of crime.

The report praises the idea that broken windows theory, repairing vacant lots, repairing broken windows, and cleaning crowded streets can help reverse the plague and prevent serious crime. This model has had some success in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, police have recently been coding and troubleshooting to ensure that more than 300 vacant lots are occupied. In areas where this was done, overall crime was reduced by more than 4%. That effort was previously recognized by the Mayor of Dallas’ Safe Community Task Force. The report includes all of them. It pays no attention to long-standing debates about whether broken window surveillance actually works or how the theory should be applied.

When the broken windows theory was criticized, it led to an overly aggressive crackdown on minority communities, dominated by critics who claimed that the inhabitants of these communities were disproportionately punished for low-level crime. .. it’s not. Garcia emphasized. It’s not a drag-and-drop approach, he told members of the council, and certainly stopped and searched police surveillance that caused widespread civil rights claims in places like New York City. A kind of opposition. .. In other words, crime reduction strategies seem to literally advocate repairing broken windows and not overseeing residents for minor violations.

The plan calls for greater visibility into police and information-driven attacks against criminals in very specific locations. Finally, the recognition that a few people are responsible for most of the violent crimes. On the map, the Dallas Police Department divided the city into 225 police cars. It consists of 1,156 small reporting areas, approximately 330 x 330 feet, on a 101,000 grid. Police will begin to attack about 5% of these networks. According to Garcia, this is a much smaller footprint than traditional access points. We are not talking about four or five apples. It should give the community some reassurance, as its small footprint has proven to work. Network style monitoring is not too wide.

Garcia has only been in his job for a few months. The plan aims to reverse the increasing trend of violent crime in recent years. It increased by 14% from 2018 to 2019 and 5% from 2019 to 2020. It’s not easy. Crime rates and statistics can be misleading. Understanding the causes of criminal tendencies is even more difficult. No one really knows what is causing the increase in violent crime. A common trend in major US cities over the last two decades has been a reduction in the incidence of violent crimes that criminologists cannot even identify.

Mike Smith, a professor of criminology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a member of the Dallas Police Department, and a team of UTSA investigators who developed a crime reduction plan, wants to know what happened. I said the same to the members of society. Behind the recent increase in violent crime. In Dallas.

According to Smith, violence is due to many factors. How COVID worked in this particular area is an interesting question. I think you have to be humble enough as a criminologist to say that you really don’t know the answer to how and why COVID affected violence. In Dallas, the growth trend dates back a few years. There is work to do that beyond the additional impact COVID has had on Dallas.

Indeed, there is a perception that crime is on the rise in Dallas. When Garcia was asked on Wednesday, it was primarily a councilor.

As the budget season approaches, it does not mean that the police are not demanding more money from the city administration. The department must grow responsibly, the chief said. Of course, you could use something more personal, but that’s definitely true. Even if you increase the number of access points, you need to make sure that the effect of talk time and response time is not affected because you are spending time on these access points because you are staffing in other areas. There is. ..

City Manager T.C. said no one is currently proposing a tax increase to supplement its growth. Broadnax. As his boss hinted at, he said it was a crime reduction strategy. In that case, he must manage how to add responsibly. We also need to address infrastructure and community issues that help reduce non-law enforcement crime.

The plan also reflects the understanding that arrests cannot get out of crime because of the use of phrases that are becoming cliché. Garcia likes the metaphor of grass and seeds. Eliminate the most frequent criminals and sow economic development. He recognizes the need for support from law enforcement agencies, obstacle reduction, county health departments, nonprofits, and companies that can bring work and money to crime-prone areas, in addition to police stations. doing. did. Other programs running outside the police, such as the addition of violence switches and streetlights, are already underway.

Garcia said the city should see short-term results as police focus more on hotspots. The medium- to long-term goals outlined in the report will increasingly require the support of non-police organizations and departments. He said we didn’t get into this situation overnight. It will take some time to get out of it.

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