Co-Chair of Dallas Mayor's New Task Force Says Community Should Expect a ‘Holistic Approach'

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson says the city can't rely solely on the police department to solve its crime problem.

Just days after the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl and the son of a Dallas ISD trustee member, Johnson announced he was launching a task force.

Naturally, people have questions about logistics concerning the task force. What does this task force look like? What exactly will do? Most importantly, will it actually work?

Planning has only just begun, but already one member has an idea of what the community can expect.

Pastor Michael Bowie is one of three people already hand selected as a co-chair by mayor Eric Johnson.

Bowie said he accepted the request after a conversation with the mayor. He says the task force will look at solutions beyond law enforcement.

"We talked about just the pervasive violence in the city and what could we do about it and what could we do about it. He said he prayed about it and he asked if I would be willing to co-chair this task force," he said.

As for what people should expect, Bowie says they won't simply collect data, but listen to what people are saying.

According to statistics released by the Dallas Police Department, through Sunday Aug. 18, there have been 132 people killed by murder or non-negligent manslaughter in the city so far this year. That number is 25% higher than the same period in 2018 where 106 people were killed.

"Because I know that there can be a solution, the anxiety has shifted to urgency. So I believe that we're in a fierce sense of urgency called now. And we have to do something now for that next generation," said Bowie.

Mayor Johnson says he will announce other members soon, and there would be no members of law enforcement on the force for a reason.

"We can't rely on law enforcement exclusively to solve this problem. There's something going on in our neighborhoods and in our communities in Dallas that's leading to this increase activity, increased gang activity, this increased violent crime and we're going to get to the root of it," he said.

Bowie says he expects the task force to have the first of many reports prepared in 90 days.

The first meeting of co-chairs will be held later this week.

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