A neighborhood crime report surveying documented criminal activity could spell bad news for Crime Boss of the Month runner-up Dallas City Councilman Paul Ridley.
Ridley – who is planning on running for re-election in May in District 14 — represents a piece of Dallas, including Lower Greenville, a lively mixed residential neighborhood that has drawn media attention for increased incidents of violence and criminal activity over the last year.
The Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association (representing the blocks between Mockingbird Lane, Skillman Street, Ross Avenue, and Greenville Avenue) recently released its December 2022 crime report, which also took into account surrounding neighborhoods like M-Streets and Vickery Place.
The report looked at crime trends over the last five years — and noted that aggravated assaults had increased by over 200% since 2020.
In fact, the total number of reported violent crime incidents doubled in the last two years.
The Dallas Express spoke with Darren Dattalo, vice president of the association’s board of directors and point of contact for crime bulletins.
He claimed the bulk of the crime in the area could be attributed to bad operators running late-night bars on Greenville Avenue.
“We called the police for years and couldn’t get anything done,” Dattalo said.
He went on to note the reportedly shrinking ranks of the Dallas Police Department (DPD), explaining that attrition has been undercutting the department’s efforts at staffing up.
For instance, DPD is looking to hire 250 new officers this fiscal year. However, according to a City memorandum, the department hired 31 officers in the first three months but lost 21 to attrition.
“The current police chief does not have a plan to put more officers on the street. Until that happens, you’re just scratching the surface,” Dattalo said.
The president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, Terrance Hopkins, told The Dallas Observer back in 2020 that DPD needed between 800 and 1,000 more officers to properly police the city, a figure Dattalo has heard batted around.
But Dattalo stated that his neighborhood got more results by putting pressure on the bad late-night operators through the City’s zoning mechanisms, getting one late-night hotspot that was attracting criminal activity shut down.
“Zoning will get rid of the problem,” he said.
As it stands, aggravated assaults in Ridley’s District 14 are up by about 70% year-to-date, according to the City of Dallas Open Data crime analytics dashboard.
Ridley refused to speak with The Dallas Express earlier this month when he attended a controversial “all-ages” drag performance at BuzzBrews’ Lakewood location.
It has been reported that Ridley will face at least one challenger in May, realtor and attorney Amanda Schulz, who has said dealing with public safety issues is one of her priorities.
The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the city, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible to you. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to data from the FBI’s UCR database.