Dallas police have struggled to contain a rise in violent crime in the city in recent years. However, a new initiative to target crime hotspots in the city appears to be having a positive impact.
In November, Dallas City Council members Monday praised progress from Chief Eddie Garcia’s violent crime plan as the police department announced an expansion that will target a notorious Dallas location, NBC 5 reported.
Garcia announced violent crime in Dallas has fallen by 11% since May when his plan was implemented, including falls in homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault.
However, some high crime neighborhoods continue to concern police including a Northeast Dallas apartment complex on Audelia near Walnut Hill Lane. NBC 5 reported a Dallas police sergeant was shot in the hand in November when he responded to a burglary call at the complex. Police arrested the alleged shooter.
“The actions of early this morning are indicative of the work that these men and women are doing constantly for this city,” Garcia said, “I think while we remain cautiously optimistic, we aren’t doing touch-down dances. This is a journey, not a destination.”
Garcia has identified the next stage in his crime reduction strategy. He said the initiative called Place Network Investigations will start at two locations including 11700 Ferguson Road near LBJ Freeway.
The areas have a reputation for drugs and violent crime. In 2018, a security guard ended up paralyzed after a shooting at the Texaco store on Ferguson Road near 635 which has a long history of crime.
NBC reported former Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall chose the Texaco location to launch a new camera program intended to reduce crime in the area.
Garcia plans to bring his PNI program to Ferguson Road and an apartment complex area at 3550 E. Overton Road in Southern Dallas.
The PNI program will survey neighbors and may entail solutions from other city departments rather than law enforcement alone.
Dallas police are considering other methods of increasing surveillance. The department has highlighted a plan to add more drones to monitor public safety situations. NBC-5 noted a downside of intense police attention on crime hot spots is slower response times to 911 emergency calls, which is reflected on the public safety dashboard. Garcia said he hopes the city will add more officers to help improve response times in the city. Dallas, like many other police departments, has been hit by a manpower shortage.
Violent crime rates have spiked in Dallas and other Texas cities in recent years. Austin recorded a 68% year-on-year rise in homicides earlier this year.
Violent crime is also rising in Houston and Fort Worth. Violent crime alarms the public and law enforcement. These crimes often lack witnesses and miscarriages of justice can and do occur. If you have been charged with a violent crime, please contact our Dallas-based criminal defense team at (214) 720-9552.