Dallas Mayor Announces Initiatives to Reduce Crime

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As Dallas works to reduce violent crime, Mayor Eric Johnson announced a series of new public safety initiatives Tuesday.

In a memo to the City Manager and City Attorney, Johnson said the effort was part of “a holistic approach to reducing violent crime in Dallas as we strive to become the safest major city in the United States.”

Initiatives included blight remediation for neighborhoods like Mill City.

“We have a lot of loitering, a lot of people being on lots and just sort of trashing them out,” said Community Association President Alendra Lyons.

Lyons said her neighborhood has nearly 1,500 empty lots.

 “It can be a lot of gathering here, parties, fights,” she said.

Now with the help of city funding, Mill City will team up with Builders of Hope Community Development Fund to get to work clearing nearly 1,500 vacant lots.

“It’s a model that’s been used in Philadelphia that’s seen a decrease in crime,” said President and CEO James Armstrong.

Now following the same model, Armstrong said cleared lots will be fenced off to be prepared for future development and affordable single-family homes.

“The fence is more than just a barrier. It’s a symbol that the activity that once happened in this vacant lot is not acceptable, that the community members don’t want it,” he said.

Among the Mayor’s other initiatives are school partnerships, including the expansion of programs like Becoming a Man and Working on Womanhood in DISD schools.

Johnson’s plan also calls for funding for the Dallas Police Department’s focused deterrence program, which Chief Eddie Garcia has said will be integral to reducing violent crime.

Another initiative calls for the Dallas Police and City Attorney’s Office to challenge alcohol licenses of businesses that have a track record of public safety issues in neighborhoods, saying “Several violent incidents in our city's vibrant and thriving nightlife districts have caused some safety concerns.”

Lastly, the plan calls for Dallas City Council committees to develop briefings this fall regarding strategies that various city departments and agencies can contribute to public safety in Dallas.

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