Violent incidents making headlines in Dallas this year include a mass shooting that injured 10 people and resulted in City Council passing a new event-promoter ordinance.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson released a five-point plan Tuesday to reduce violent crime in the city.
A blight-remediation plan modeled on one in Philadelphia tops Johnson’s list. The plan also calls for interventions in public schools, the swift policing known as focused deterrence, formally challenging state alcohol licensing for businesses where violence has occurred, and calling on City Council to hear various strategies for crime reduction.
It’s unclear what making this plan a reality could cost. The Dallas Morning News explains the Dallas Police Department budget here.
These are Johnson’s five points, taken directly from the memo:
- Blight remediation: Blight remediation was one of the top recommendations of my
Task Force on Safe Communities two-and-a-half years ago. While the Dallas City
Council has previously committed to funding blight remediation efforts in our annual
budget, my staff has begun to work with the City Attorney’s Office on a new policy —
modeled on a successful program in Philadelphia — that would take our city’s blight
remediation efforts to the next level. I am requesting that both of you give your full
support to developing this policy and moving it forward to ensure that Dallas can
continue to reduce violent crime in our communities.
- School partnerships: Our schools play a critical role in keeping our children safe.
Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, the new superintendent of the Dallas Independent School
District, was previously a member of my Task Force on Safe Communities and
helped champion the expansion of the Becoming A Man (BAM) and Working On
Womanhood (WOW) programs in Dallas ISD schools. We must continue to push for
further expansions of these efforts in Dallas ISD and in all the school districts inside
our city limits. I trust that you will make the Dallas Police Department’s crime
analysts and other city staff available to our educational partners so that their
resources are directed to areas where they are most needed.
- Focused deterrence: In the upcoming budget, I will support funding for the Dallas
Police Department’s planned focused deterrence program. Police Chief Eddie
Garcia has been a proponent of such a program, saying it will be integral to his
violent crime reduction plan. I would request that both of you begin work to develop
this program so that it can be implemented expeditiously upon passage of the
- Challenging alcohol licenses of bad actors: Several violent incidents in our city’s
vibrant and thriving nightlife districts have caused some safety concerns. I
appreciate the efforts of our police department and our community partners in
response, but we must ensure we are doing everything we can to make our
signature neighborhoods as safe as possible. Therefore, I would like to see the
Dallas Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office partner to challenge the
alcoholic beverage licenses of any businesses that have acted irresponsibly and
catalyzed public safety issues in these neighborhoods. The Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission has an established process in place for such license protests,
and we should be willing to take full advantage of that process in the interests of
- Dallas City Council committee briefings: I would like for you both to work with the
chairs of our standing committees of the Dallas City Council to develop briefings this
fall regarding strategies that various city departments and agencies can contribute to
public safety in Dallas. For example, your staff could brief the Transportation &
Infrastructure Committee on the overlap between high-violence locations and the
“infrastructure deserts” identified by a recent Southern Methodist University study on
the matter. Such an analysis could help us prioritize the allocation of infrastructure
resources for those areas.