The “Crime Boss of the Month” for January is City Councilman Chad West of Dallas District 1. Councilman West’s district Crime score jumped up 21% from 2020 to 2021.
The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information, such as crime rates and trends in the city, should be easily accessible to you. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to our data from the FBI’s UCR database.
That is why the “Crime Boss of the Month” is a monthly title given to the Dallas City Council Member whose district has experienced the greatest percentage increase (or smallest decrease) in crime.
The District 1 Crime Score jumped from 204 in December 2020 to 245 in December 2021, increasing 21%.
West has been serving as a District 1 Dallas City Council member since June 2019 and is currently Mayor Pro Tem. The Bishop Arts District, and West Oak Cliff, are located in District 1.
West has called North Oak Cliff home, according to his Dallas City Council District 1 webpage, for the last 20 years. West was honorably discharged as a combat veteran after completing his military service and went on to Texas Tech School of Law, where he graduated with honors.
He is a lawyer and a small business owner. He founded his law firm in Oak Cliff in 2010. West also owns and operates express tunnel car washes in Oak Cliff and Cedar Hill.
West earned the title of “Crime Boss of the Month” for December as District 1 because, in 2021, District 1 saw 90 more crimes committed than in December of 2020.
The most significant increase in crimes in District 1 over that time was in the category of Motor Vehicle Thefts which shot up 77% in December of 2020 to 2021, from 97 to 172.
As The Dallas Express explained in a previous Crime Boss installment, Dallas’ reliance on vehicles to commute to and from work makes the vehicle theft surge especially difficult on the city’s residents.
In an email, West’s assistant, Ashley Long, noted on his behalf, “Auto theft has increased citywide. The Southwest Patrol Division is using bait cars when they are available and is attempting to interview every person that is arrested for UUMV (Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle).
Officers are going by former chop shop locations and attempting to see if they are active again. They did an E-tag operation last week in the southern part of the division to target UUMV and will be doing another one in North Oak Cliff soon.”
In 2020, the FBI reported that Texas had over 84,000 motor vehicle thefts, second only to California’s 168,323 in the United States.
The other increases in crime in District 1 from December 2020 to December 2021 are:
- Theft/Larceny: Increased by seventeen from 2020, 127 versus 110.
- Drug/Narcotic Violations: Increased by sixteen from 2020, thirty-six versus twenty.
- DUI: Increased by six, eleven versus five.
- Family Non-violent Offenses: Increased by four, four versus zero.
- Fraud Offenses: Increased by two, eight versus six.
- Homicide: Increased by one, one in 2021 and none in 2020.
Long also pointed out in her email to The Dallas Express that heightened crime statistics counterintuitively occur when police are more vigilant.
She commented, “[Traffic and Public Intoxication and] Drugs/Narcotic violations increase when officers make an arrest in the area for those crimes. That only means that officers were in the area and being proactive. Larceny/Theft in December is always a problem due to the holidays. Static displays, overtime, and officers on special assignment were used during December in the most problematic areas.
According to Long’s email, “Violent crime is down with the Southwest Division being the #2 reducer in violent crime in 2021.”
Despite an overall increase in the department’s budget, West was one of the City Council members who voted to reduce police overtime and invest millions in alternative policing, The Dallas Morning News reported in April of 2021.
“This budget did not defund the police,” Councilman Chad West said in a statement. “This public safety amendment simply directs DPD to adjust its staffing levels to lower overtime and put more desk officers on the streets, which is a great thing for our communities.”
Under West’s policies on his website, he wrote, “I supported officer starting pay raises during my first term, but those pay increases did not bring DPD in line with suburban departments. We must do better. We can work to provide other inducements that allow officers and firefighters to live in the city they serve. Furthermore, we must provide visionary leadership and training that helps improve sensitivity to diverse groups.”
West’s website also lists several of his policies, including offering “affordable housing opportunities to our police officers and firefighters,” “identify wasteful spending in our city’s budget and redirect funds to public safety salaries,” and “increase staff numbers of community police officers to improve relationships between communities and law enforcement.”
Last September, West proposed an amendment to move $10 million of DPD’s over $22 million of proposed police overtime budget into a “savings account.” Dallas Police would be required to seek permission from City Council before accessing the funds. The amendment passed but was reversed two weeks later by Mayor Johnson’s initiative.
“MPT West would like to add he does not believe that criminals pay attention to Council District boundaries, and that he supports DPD’s efforts to reduce crime across the city. To assist with reviewing police policies, last year, he formed and appointed members to a District 1 Public Safety Advisory Committee, which provides feedback to him on criminal issues in the district and on related policies,” West’s assistant related to The Dallas Express in an email.