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Dallas Police Department's Crime Reduction Plan Must Be More Ambitious, Says Mayor

Bill Zeeble
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, when he was running for mayor last Spring.

The Dallas Police Department released its Violent Crime Reduction Plan Thursday after Mayor Eric Johnson insisted on it. The plan aims to reduce murders and assaults across the most violent parts of Dallas, and targets business crimes — but the mayor wants more. 

The police plan calls for reductions of violent crime and robberies by 10% in certain parts of the city and an overall violent crime reduction rate of 5%.

That’s not good enough, according to a written statement from Mayor Eric Johnson, who wants more ambitious goals. For example, he said the city should strive to reduce homicides, aggravated assaults and robberies to 2018 levels. And eventually, he wants violent crime rates back to the historic city lows of 2013 and 2014.

Johnson talked about wanting a crime reduction plan during his state of the city conversation last month. That’s because overall crime was up 4% in 2019, and murders spiked 15%.

"It’s a concern. It's a significant concern," Johnson said. "We've had enough African Americans killed in this city in this past year to constitute an entire year's worth of homicides, regardless of race, for our city or for another major city."

The new plan calls for taking a more data-driven approach to crime, and improving communication among those in different departments and in outside organizations that work with police. Johnson says he wants details on how those strategies would be implemented and metrics for measuring outcomes.

The Dallas City Council public safety committee gets the police department's plan Jan. 13. In a statement, Public Safety Chairman Adam McGough echoed Mayor Johnson's critique that the plan needs to be "much more ambitious."

"I am thankful that Mayor Johnson called for this plan," McGough said. "I stand alongside him and all my council colleagues to ensure that we do everything in our power to reverse the rising trends and make Dallas the safest big city in the country."

Read the full Violent Crime Reduction Plan

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.