An "Inauspicious" Start for Dallas Public Safety in 2021
"Inauspicious" Beginning to 2021 for Public Safety
By: Town Creek Crime Watch Advisory Committee
“Unfortunately, the city [of Dallas] got off to a bit of an inauspicious start to 2021 in regards to public safety strategies,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote in an email sent this week.The email referred to a controversial memo that indicated Dallas Police officers would no longer be dispatched to certain crimes, including burglary of a motor vehicle, attempted car thefts, criminal mischief, reckless damage, graffiti, and child custody interference.
The memo was internal, but news outlets and social mediaobtained it and shared it broadly. After a public outcry that included Governor Greg Abbott, the memo was rescinded. However, concerns linger that the Dallas Police Department is somewhere between disorganization and turmoil – after all, neither the new incoming DPD chief, Eddie Garcia, nor the mayor himself knew this policy was being implemented.
It’s worth mentioning that the Crime Watch program Town Creek created more than 30 years ago was largely in response to the constant burglaries of our motor vehicles – one of the very crimes mentioned in this memo that would no longer warrant a police dispatch. Crimes like this – that focus on our property - are a big reason we have Crime Watch in our neighborhood. Our program allows us to bypass a problematic 9-1-1 system and contact a DPD officer directly – a DPD officer who’s already in our area and dedicated to our neighborhood’s safety!
Forget proactive patrols – the Dallas Police Department isn’t even responding to certain crimes anymore! Yes, the memo was rescinded, but that doesn’t mean similar practices and problems with the 9-1-1 system won’t continue without the pseudo-transparency of a leaked memo. This whole controversy also makes me wonder how else our city might be “gaming” the 9-1-1 system to create more favorable crime statistics (and create a false sense of security) and realign our public safety system without our knowledge.
“Crime Watch is the only proactive policing currently available to us. The only visible deterrent to criminals. The only timely response available. Yes, our taxes should provide effective law enforcement, but the sad truth is that they just don’t. Even Priority One calls (like murders and shootings) are still taking about nine minutes for a response. And we are still suffering from a record rate of violent crime.
If we want to deter crime, we will have to pay for it ourselves! Please join Crime Watch if you haven’t already – your Crime Watch committee regularly discusses the fact that if we could get 100% participation in this program, we could afford patrols nearly 24/7! The more members we have, the more patrols we have. So please help us get closer to that full participation – and full-time protection.