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Dallas City Council Passes New Event Safety Ordinance


District 10 Council Member Adam McGough spoke in favor of the new ordinance over promoted events during a Dallas City Council meeting on June 22. | Image by City of Dallas/Screenshot

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The Dallas City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to add a new ordinance through an amendment to the Dallas City Code. The ordinance was created to prevent tragedies such as the shooting at an outdoor event in Dallas on April 2 that left one person dead and 16 others injured.

Kealon Dejuane Gilmore was shot in the head and died on the scene at an event in southeast Oak Cliff billed as the “Epic Easter Bike Out and Field Party,” The Dallas Express reported.

Gilmore had attended the event, which was promoted by Bossman Bubba and advertised as having Dallas Police on-site. However, officials say the event was not one that had been issued a permit through the City.

His death was the second in two weeks in the Dallas area involving violence at an unregulated event.

One month later, Dallas police arrested two individuals they believe fired indiscriminately into the crowd at the Easter event after a fight had broken out, per The Dallas Express.

Seven off-duty Dallas police officers had worked the concert after receiving permission from their supervisor but had left about 30 minutes before the shooting because they had finished their shift.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that after review, the officers should not have been allowed to work the event because it did not have a permit and was not under the oversight of the City.

The new ordinance is intended to provide City oversight to events that did not previously require a permit through another City process, such as a special event permit, a certificate of occupancy combined with a specific use permit, or an event that is managed and operated by the City.

The ordinance will require promoters of a commercial event, like the Epic Easter Bike Out and Field Party, to register with the City of Dallas. It also requires a fee of $175 and the submission of a safety plan for approval.

Language in the new section details the manner in which the City can seek compensation for security response costs, along with penalties and suspensions the council hopes will keep promoters accountable and Dallas residents safe.

Promoters who do not register with the City can now face a $2,000 fine for failing to register a safety plan or for sewage and waste management violations. The City can also charge an additional $500 for other various violations of the new ordinance.

“The job of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department is to keep this city safe,” said Garcia. “The improved commercial promoter ordinance helps us in our mission by making sure that commercial promoters and venue operators plan their events responsibly. We want people to enjoy our city and all of its events, but each event should be conducted safely and legally.”

Garcia had recommended following the April 2 shooting that the city council address unpermitted and unregistered commercially-promoted events in Dallas.

The new ordinance was discussed publicly by the Dallas Public Safety Committee and the Convention and Event Services Office of Special Events over the course of several hearings that began in May.

“We must do everything we can to keep people safe while they are enjoying themselves in our city,” Mayor Eric Johnson said. “That is why I am proud to support our new promoter’s ordinance that will improve accountability and safety at large events. I want to thank Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Chairman Adam McGough for their leadership on this issue. Together, we are working to make Dallas the safest major city in the United States.”

As reported by The Dallas Express, Garcia has been acknowledged for his efforts to address violent crime in Dallas; however, Dallas remains statistically more dangerous than most areas of the state. As of press time, the Dallas Police Department has recorded 10 more homicides at this point in the year over last year’s numbers at 99.

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