City Council Renews Crime Plan Contract

Crime Plan
Dallas Police Department | Image by Dorti/Shutterstock

The Dallas City Council doubled down again on its Violent Crime Reduction Plan, entering into another contract with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for consulting services and technical assistance it has been providing to the report (DPD).

At a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, council members voted to approve the contract without discussing the matter, authorizing roughly $142,000 of taxpayer money to be paid to UTSA for services rendered between March 15, 2023, and March 14, 2024.

The price tag increased by about $42,000 compared to the previous year-long contract, which itself cost double the price of the agreement before that.

Including Tuesday’s spending authorization, the City is set to pay a total of $290,780 in taxpayer money on the plan, even though it has so far yielded mixed results.

Michael R. Smith, director of UTSA’s Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice and project lead for the program, explained the cost increases to The Dallas Express in an email.

“Our involvement as the city’s research consultant and evaluator of the Crime Plan has gotten increasingly complex and time consuming as the various phases of the plan have rolled out. We now have four faculty members actively involved in working on [it], which is double the number we started with two years ago,” Smith wrote.

“The primary driver of the additional costs in Year 3 (the $142,000 you referenced) is the planned roll-out of focused deterrence … later in the spring and the additional staffing needed to support that phase of the Crime Plan,” he added.

Focused deterrence is a policing model that involves interacting directly with “high rate offenders, often gang members or drug sellers.” It emphasizes the “certainty, swiftness, and severity of punishment” for certain crimes and then follows through using every legal mechanism, according to George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.

“Focused deterrence is a complex strategy that involves partnerships between law enforcement, social service providers, the community, and the offenders served by the program,” wrote Smith.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, City officials credited the plan with the meager dip in violent crimes logged in 2022 compared to 2021, which now sits at 5.1%. However, overall crime figures remained almost entirely unchanged, according to the City of Dallas Open Data crime analytics dashboard, with a total of just 15 fewer crimes reported in 2022.

Additionally, Dallas has seen a resurgence of violent crimes year-to-date as of Tuesday, with an overall uptick of nearly 7%, per a daily DPD report.

Still, Smith seems confident and patient, stating to The Dallas Express:

“We were just in Dallas yesterday for planning meetings with a range of focused deterrence stakeholders, and our involvement in that aspect of the Crime Plan is just getting started.”

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  1. Bob Burns

    It is very hard for me to believe that our taxpayer money is spent WITHOUT discussion when the results are, at best, maintaining and it seems like this year we are off to a roaring start.

    City Council, you are stewards of our taxes.

    Citizens, we need to hold the Council accountable!!

    Help Chief Garcia in hiring. Be creative!!

  2. gypsy

    no justice

  3. fed up with Dallas County

    County DA John Cruezot will undermine law enforcement in order to honor his obligations to George Soros. Dallas’ crime problem cannot be solved without ousting John Cruezot. At this point the best solution to Dallas’ crime problem is to avoid Dallas which is rapidly becoming Austin.


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