Police Chief Eddie Garcia spoke with The Dallas Express Podcast about the Dallas Police Department’s ongoing staffing shortage in a wide-ranging interview that covered DPD’s community policing initiatives, its efforts to reduce violent crime, and some of the issues standing in the way of bolstering the department’s standing force.
“Community policing’s really just being present, being empathetic to people’s problems. It’s listening to how they feel the department can do better by being present and solving issues surrounding their neighborhoods,” said Garcia.
“We are not going to arrest our way into a safer Dallas. … Yes, there’s no question that we need to take the violent criminal element off our street, and we have to do that every day. But we also do have to make re-investments in people and places.”
Garcia said that DPD’s community affairs orientation has been as critical as other aspects of its operations targeting violent criminals and scenarios.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a number of violent crime categories have been proclaimed to be on a significant downward trajectory, however, murders have been on the rise by over 10% year over year.
“I know that we’re in a national crisis as it relates to staffing police in general. Dallas is no different. What is your game plan for the Dallas Police Department to address the retention of police?” asked the podcast’s host, Sarah Zubiate Bennett, co-founder of The Dallas Express.
“[A]pplicants that want to do this job in this profession, they have to know that they feel supported. I know that, and I’ll say it, I’ll say that the elephant in the room, that I often talk about in the last few years … honorable men and women have seen, not the ones that don’t deserve to wear this uniform, but honorable officers [who] don’t feel supported. Honorable officers have been vilified and I don’t care what profession you’re in. If that’s the sense of the profession, you’re not going to have a lot of people that want to get into that profession.”
Check out Chief Garcia’s full interview with The Dallas Express Podcast here.