Garcia: Main cause of ‘violent crime in our community’ is conflict among acquaintances


Although the city of Dallas has experienced a slight uptick in homicides, violent crime has been trending downward overall, according to the Dallas Police Department.

“Our statistical data shows that argument/conflict among acquaintances is a primary cause to our violent crime in our community,” Eddie Garcia, chief of Dallas police, told Dallas Express. “The root cause of those argument/conflicts can be traced back to a number of societal issues.”

Those societal issues include family violence. Last year, Dallas saw some 252 homicides, the most in nearly two decades. So far, 96 people have been killed in Dallas. This time last year, that number was only 87.

“Our citizens trust our department, which allows more people to come forward and report crime resulting in an increase in family violence-related crime,” Garcia said. “Some view this as a negative. We, however, view this as a show of faith and trust in our department to do the right thing, especially when victims of family violence report loved ones who are abusing them.”

In response to the increase in family violence-related offenses, the DPD partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio criminologists this spring to implement evidence-based crime reduction tactics. 

“The crime plan consists of three strategies – a near-term strategy, a mid-term strategy, and a long-term strategy to reduce the trend of violent crime,” said Garcia who, as the 30th police chief of the Dallas Police Department, is the first Latino to serve in the position. 

The near-term strategy focuses on small areas responsible for high percentages of violent crime without over-policing it, while the mid-term strategy focuses on Place Network Investigations by identifying what type of networks are driving crime in the area, whether it’s narcotics, illegal gambling, gang-related crime or narcotics. 

“Our long-term strategies focus on changing the environment where crime is occurring,” Garcia said.

Fox News reported that in last year’s budget, the city manager and council funded plans to hire violence interrupters to work in the community assisting police without needing to add more police enforcement. The city also reportedly has a goal to fix more than 2,000 street lights, most of which are in high crime areas.

“The city of Dallas has several departments to perform outreach in the community,” Garcia said. “The departments integrate into our crime plan in the long-term strategic vision.”

It was widely reported that crisis teams are being assigned in July to all DPD patrol locations. These teams will assist officers with homelessness, addiction, mental health and other calls to provide their specific skills to help officers. 

“Our city attorney’s office is designed to hold business owners accountable for abatable crime occurring in their businesses or rental properties, Office of Equity, Office of Community Care, Office of Homeless Solutions, and Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions are all designed to mitigate circumstances that promote, encourage or contribute to violent criminal activity within identified high-risk areas of the city,” Garcia said.

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