Law Enforcement Leaders Address Challenges in Policing

(Left to right) B.J. Wagner, B. Chad Yarbrough, Ed Drain, Billy Clay, Michael T. Igo of the Public Safety forum hosted by Dallas Regional Chamber | Image by The Dallas Express

The Dallas Regional Chamber held a forum on public safety on Tuesday where several law enforcement leaders were present, including the FBI.

Those who participated in one of the forum’s panels included B. Chad Yarborough, special agent in charge of the FBI Dallas division, Plano Police Department Chief Ed Drain, Frisco Police Department Assistant Chief Billy Clay, and Dallas Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Michael T. Igo.

The law enforcement leaders talked about the challenges their departments are facing. Yarborough said that one of the FBI’s biggest concerns in North Texas is cybersecurity and mentioned how several American adversaries, such as Iran and Russia, are trying to infiltrate businesses. Yarborough further noted that China is the adversarial country that poses the greatest threat.

Outside of cybersecurity woes, population growth was another issue of concern affecting law enforcement, which several of the leaders on the panel noted. Drain said he supports DEI in the Plano Police Department as it helps to address the population change Plano is experiencing.

Drain said that part of his focus is to make sure the department represents Plano’s changing demographic but noted that he would not sacrifice quality standards to do so. He said handling recruiting and hiring is one of his most important responsibilities.

The Plano police chief also mentioned the support that North Texas police departments can count on from each other, adding that he values collaborating with other departments as it is not a competition.

Clay reiterated Drain’s point of positive collaboration, adding that working with other police departments is paramount for Frisco in order to continue to be effective in public safety as the population growth continues.

“Having constant communication is important to keep the crime down,” Igo said, conferring with Clay and Drain. “Crime doesn’t stay in one geographic area, it travels. It travels across boundaries,” Igo added.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, crime has been a continued cause of concern for Dallas residents. A survey conducted by Garin Hart Yang Research Group showed that the most important issues facing the City were crime and public safety, with 38% of respondents picking this category as their top issue.

DPD continues to battle against these issues despite being short-staffed. Dallas has approximately 3,000 sworn officers, short of the 4,000 recommended by a City analysis that concludes that there need to be three officers for every 1,000 residents.

The Dallas Express publisher and CEO and chairman of Ashford Inc. Monty Bennett, who spoke at the Dallas Regional Chamber event, noted that he wants to move to his business downtown but cannot due to the high crime rate in the area.

“I want to go [downtown]. I want to move there. I just want it to be safe for my people, and my people, of course, want it to be safe. And so I’m going to do whatever I can in order to support our police so that they can do what they very much want to do, and that is to [make] it as safe as possible downtown,” Bennett said.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article