Q. Chief Kunkle has been in his position for more than a year now — what differences/changes has he made within the Dallas PD?



A. Chief Kunkle has initiated several innovative plans for the future of the Dallas Police Department. These various plans will help the Dallas Police Department to adapt its mission for the future and help ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of Dallas .


One of the most visible changes made was the creation of Operation Disruption. This plan calls for 60 officers to form a task force that will be sent to high crime areas of the city. They will saturate the area in an attempt to make an immediate impact on crime.


They’ll also have the ability to immediately move to any other area of the city when needed in an emergency. Another plan that will increase the number of uniformed personnel on the street is Operation Week In Patrol. This plan takes non-uniformed personnel, from police officers to captains, and places them in patrol cars answering calls for service. Chief Kunkle has also improved the Internal Affairs Division by streamlining the complaint and investigation process to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete an internal investigation.


Officers are also being equipped with the innovative equipment available today in order to make the Dallas Police Department a more efficient organization. This process was greatly enhanced by a donation that was recently presented to the Dallas Police Department. The W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas awarded $15 million dollars to purchase equipment and ensure the department’s capacity to reduce crime and increase public safety for years to come.


Phase I of the grant will be used to purchase $5 million of equipment, including video cameras and prisoner shields for squad cars. Phase II of the grant will begin an external development plan to reduce crime. Phase III will fund the cost of development and implementation of the plan up to $10 million.


This commitment is unprecedented in the history of our department. It is the largest grant to a single organization made by the Communities Foundation of Texas and the largest private grant ever received by the department. 



Q. I’ve noticed a lot of young mothers in my neighborhood pushing their strollers in the street instead of on the sidewalk. Is this illegal? If not illegal, is it advisable?



A. Pedestrian traffic, which includes pedestrians pushing shopping carts and baby strollers, is specifically addressed in the Texas Transportation Code. It is never advisable to walk in the street when sidewalks are provided. In fact, it is against the law to do so. The Texas Transportation Code Chapter 552 states:


(a) a pedestrian may not walk along and on a roadway if an adjacent sidewalk is provided and is accessible to the pedestrian.


(b) where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall if possible walk on (1) the left side of the roadway or (2) the shoulder of the highway facing oncoming traffic.


(c) the operator of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alley, building, or private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian approaching on a sidewalk extending across the alley, building entrance or exit, road, or driveway.