Dallas City Council member Carolyn King Arnold has issued a statement regarding the city's biennial budget.
Arnold addressed the possibility of defunding the police, the city's crime prevention efforts, and Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall's resignation.
"You may have heard the City Council voted to defund the Dallas Police Department," Arnold said. "That's not true! Twelve of my colleagues and I voted to reprogram $7 million in police overtime pay in order to create programs and outreach efforts that will help reduce neighborhood crime rates."
According to Arnold, District 4 is an area in which additional resources are needed to combat criminal activity.
Arnold said this action does not represent a lack of support for the Dallas police, and that the department's budget still has several million dollars available for "overtime compensation."
"If an emergency should arise, the City Manager and Council could move funds from the reserve account to address the matter," Arnold said.
Arnold said Dallas City Council members will take official steps to finalize their votes in the coming weeks, and the final decision for the biennial budget will be made on Sept. 23.
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"The hope is to be able to tell you more about these programs that represent 'reinvestment' into our neighborhoods," Arnold said. "The City can't arrest its way out of the poverty and desperation issues that often lead to crime. We can use these dollars to harness the community's powers in crime prevention."
The funds will be used to help strengthen the Dallas 365 Safe initiative announced earlier this year as a means for renewing neighborhood efforts to address crime, Arnold said.
"District 4 community leaders have identified some of the issues they would like to address, such as drug trafficking, prostitution, and gunshots at all hours," Arnold said. "Ultimately, if we can clean up these activities and improve safety, we can attract new businesses in our neighborhoods."
Arnold said Dallas Police Chief Ulisha Reneé Hall has agreed to accept the City Manager's offer to remain until the end of the year, and she praised Hall for her accomplishments during her tenure with the Dallas Police Department.
"As the first African-American female chief, she faced many obstacles but was able to introduce major reforms during her three-year tenure," Arnold said. "To her credit, she worked to implement the Police Oversight Board, Protocol and Reform measures for officer accountability, and championed additional 21st Century Policing initiatives, to name a few."