Community Responds to Dallas Crime Plans

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Already this year there have been seven homicides in the city of Dallas.

The Mayor’s Task Force and the Chief of Police have already outlined plans of action.

It’s much too soon to know if 2020 will shape up to be another 2019, but people living in Dallas want some indication that this year will be different.

Adrian Herrera says he moved here from Los Angeles months ago because it’s where he wanted to raise his young daughter.

“I moved here because I fell in love with Oak Cliff and I think the people here are amazing. The hospitality is incredible, and I felt at home as soon as I came here,” said Herrera.

He said it was a good decision but couldn’t have known his move would coincide with one deadliest summers in decades.

He’s tried to focus on why he came.

“I have such a positive mindset that a lot of times is drowns all that out,” said Herrera.

But the numbers are hard to ignore. There were more than 200 murders in 2019, and the numbers are inching closer to 10 in the new year.

The discussion on crime has been ongoing throughout the summer, into winter and the New Year. The Mayor’s Task force released a four-pillar plan to supplement police efforts. Chief Renee Hall recently presented a plan heavily criticized by city leaders.

Oak Cliff Bookstore owner Akwete Tyehimba is familiar with the initiatives but believes community efforts are Dallas’ best bet.

She says the burden should not rest on the Dallas Police Department alone.

“She can come out with a plan but that’s just a plan,” said Tyehimba. “We’re all concerned about this level of violence.”

She says nobody knows a community better than the people who live and work there.

“I think putting people in place to deescalate situations is good. Depends on who those people are I don’t think those people necessarily have to be the police to do that,” she said. “Police are there to help us if we need them, but we are going to have to police our own community.”

Chief Hall’s 20-page violent crime reduction plan called for a 5 percent reduction in violent crime.

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