As Dallas grapples with a rise in violent crime, the debate over how to best confront it continues.
“No we don’t have enough police but no we don’t have enough police trust either,” Disciple Central Community Church Pastor Marcus D. King said.
King is among a number of faith and community leaders who said they are concerned to again see Texas Department of Public Safety troopers being used in Dallas. Unlike in 2019, the Dallas Police Department said the troopers will not be used for patrol but rather investigative purposes, with the objective being to free up the city's police officers.
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“I think we learned a lesson last time: communication and proper engagement,” Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins said.
Atkins said he supported the use of state troopers but believed it’s important they be used in an investigative role.
“We can use all the help we can get,” he said.
The city of Dallas topped 200 murders in November and is on track for its most violent year in nearly 20 years. But many in Dallas, including King, said they worried that the underlying issues that help to drive crime are not being addressed.
“For years Dallas and Dallas County have had issues with the preventative stuff -- if we would just fund the right programs,” said King, who believes poverty remains a critical driving force.
On Monday, a separate group of faith and community leaders, including members of the Dallas Independent School District, plan to hold a press conference and announce their support for additional law enforcement help.