Reaction to Dallas Mayor’s Demand for Crime Action Plan

After a surge in violent crime this year, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson demanded an action from City Manager T.C. Broadnax and Police Chief U. Renee Hall by the end of this year.

The new urgency from Johnson was spelled out in a Tuesday letter to Broadnax.

"I have not heard anyone articulate a concrete plan to reduce violent crime in our city by a particular amount and by a time certain. This must change now," the letter said.

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Hall declined comment on the letter Wednesday.

National Latino Law Enforcement Officers Association Dallas Chapter President George Aranda renewed a call he first made in June for Hall to be replaced.

"We said it then that we needed a new crime fighter. It's unfortunate that city management wasn't listening and continued to jeopardize the safety and liability of the City of Dallas," Aranda said.

Two other police union leaders refused to go that far, but supported the mayor's letter.

"It's definitely within his guidelines and something that he should be doing, but then again to give you a specific number, that's something that's going to be difficult," said Black Police Association of Greater Dallas President Terrance Hopkins. "I don't think you can guarantee anything. I think we can have goals."

Hall did come to the City Council in November with a "Cease Fire" program that is intended to get tough on violent criminals and the proposal for a five year plan for the Dallas Police Department.

"We don't have five years. The citizens of Dallas can't wait five years. The men and women of the Dallas Police Department can't wait five years. We need an action plan now," said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata. "Everybody has to be on board of having that mission of what are we doing."

An efficiency study was conducted for the Dallas Police Department but Mata said it has not provided clear guidance.

"We never got true numbers of a manpower study. And that study didn't even look at our detectives," Mata said.

Earlier this year Mayor Johnson appointed a citizen task force to develop community solutions that would support police.

Rene Martinez is a co-chairman of the task force.

"We've taken four tours. We've got a lot of data," Martinez said. "We've looked at best practices from other cities, Baltimore, Oakland."

Martinez said a report from the task force on community based solutions will be ready by year's end to coincide with what the Mayor is now demanding from police.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax released a statement on Wednesday night, saying: 

"As the City Manager, I share the community’s concern and frustration about the rising crime rate. Chief Hall and the Dallas Police Department have implemented some important initiatives to fight these trends, but I don’t believe that it has been organized into a comprehensive citywide plan. I will be working with the Chief to develop a crime reduction plan that we all can understand and embrace. I look forward to presenting this comprehensive plan and working with the Mayor, the City Council, and the Chief to ensure it will be a blueprint to drive change and make Dallas a model city for fighting crime."

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