Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the new crime-fighting partnership between the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Attorneys, state police and local law enforcement introduced by Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall at a June meeting of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club, was heralded Wednesday in Dallas by acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as a roaring success.
“PSN is uniquely tailored to Dallas and its needs. I can see it’s working, and there’s no delay.”
Whitaker, who visited the DPD’s northeast patrol station at Northwest Highway and Audelia, said the task force is committed to reducing violent crime in Lake Highlands and nearby neighborhoods. The Dallas Division’s PSN operation is known internally as “Operation Badge #10934” in honor of Officer Rogelio Santander, killed in the line of duty at the Lake Highlands Home Depot on Forest Lane.
Whitaker praised the team of federal, state and local agents who have arrested more than 120 people for violent offenses and reduced violent crime by 20 percent in just eight months.
“Those are exactly the results we wanted to see,” he said.
Whitaker referenced the much-publicized closure of J’s Food Mart on Whitehurst, which improved the lives of recipients at Feed Lake Highlands and Watermark’s charity health clinic, and he noted other successful prosecutions of drug dealers, carjackers, weapons traffickers and murderers.
“I am extremely encouraged about the impact PSN is having in our community and our city,” agreed Councilman Adam McGough, also present at the meeting. “The community engagement has been intentional and effective. I love when law enforcement gets the kids involved and empowers them to have a positive impact in the community. The partnerships have helped reduce crime at some of our crime hotspots, and I am looking forward to continuing to work together to continue to reduce crime and empower our community.”
The work of the task force, though, isn’t over.
“We have pledged to invest more than $700,000 in PSN, and I have a feeling it will be even more next year,” said Whitaker. “In 2015 and 2016 we had some terrible national trends, especially in the area of violent crimes. They were up, especially homicide, but in 2017 we brought those numbers down. In 2018, we expect those numbers to be down again. That means fewer victims and fewer grieving families. These are important achievements that are affecting people’s lives.”