Most cities across North Texas have passed budgets that increase the funding for police, with the City of Dallas leading the way.
Dallas officials approved a budget of $4.75 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year, the largest to date for the city, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The Dallas Police Department’s budget for this coming year is about $611.9 million, or 35.9% of the overall general fund for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
This is an increase of $46 million over last year when the police budget was about $565.9 million, or 36.9% of the general fund.
Meanwhile, more and more Dallas residents are reporting assaults in 2022 and an overall increase in violent street crimes is being seen in the city from month to month.
As The Dallas Express reported earlier this year, residents of Dallas have said that crime has not diminished in their area, despite the City of Dallas’ reports of violent crime reduction.
Shortly after the budget approval, Mayor Eric Johnson voiced his thoughts about its unprecedented size in an open letter.
“That’s indicative of a strong budget,” Johnson claimed. “That’s not to say it’s perfect, of course. No budget is. There are many needs across this city and limited resources. … But overall, this budget very closely aligns with the top priorities that I outlined earlier this summer.”
Among the priorities listed are community-based crime solutions, data-driven policing strategies, and public safety.
The increased police funding will go to hiring additional officers and purchasing equipment.
DPD plans to hire 250 sworn public safety positions in 2022-23, with a projected ending headcount of 3,185. The ending headcount is expected to increase to 3,215 with the retention incentive program.
The total sum going toward hiring the 250 new members amounts to $4.8 million for the 2022-23 budget and is planned to increase to a little over $9 million for the 2023-24 budget. That is nearly a 90% increase for DPD sworn public safety positions.
There is also an initiative to improve accountability through enhanced training, the implementation of a Use of Force dashboard, and the expansion of the department’s body-worn cameras from approximately 2,250 cameras to 2,500 cameras, according to the DPD’s published budget.
Dallas police are also looking to strengthen relations by increasing community outreach efforts through community meetings, engagements, and programs.
Mayor Johnson has repeatedly pushed back against efforts to “defund the police” and instead urged for expanding police resources. In a speech attended by The Dallas Express, he emphasized, “We actually do have to support our police department, make sure they have what they need.”
Mayor Johnson explained, “It’s because I grew up in the neighborhoods I grew up in, it’s because I live in the skin that I live in, that I know for a fact that cries to defund the police or underfund the police or get the police out, are not coming from those communities.”
“Those communities, the communities I grew up in,” he continued, “are not saying we don’t want the police in our community. We are, we are the ones suffering the brunt of violent crime.”
The commiecraps in charge are quickly backpedaling from their “defund the police” stance, aren’t they? That’s because it’s an election year.