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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Is Council Member Carolyn King Arnold Dedicated to Keeping Dallas Safe?

Crime Boss, Featured

Carolyn King Arnold after winning the Dallas City Council District 4 runoff. | Image by Ben Torres, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

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The Dallas Express named Carolyn King Arnold, Council Member for District 4, the Crime Boss of the Month for December after her district’s Crime Score jumped from 208 in November 2020 to 238 in November 2021, an increase of 14%.

To calculate this score, crime statistics from Dallas OpenData are collected for each city council district in Dallas. After accounting for population differences, we then compare this per capita “Crime Score” with the score for the same month in the previous year.

Data on crimes reported during the previous month is then used to rank the districts and name the Crime Boss of the Month.

December’s Crime Boss, Council Member Arnold, was most recently elected to the Dallas City Council in June 2019 to represent District 4 during a municipal runoff. According to The City of Dallas website, she was also reelected in the special runoff election in December 2018. She was first elected to Dallas City Council in May 2015.

In November of 2020, Arnold’s District 4 saw 521 crimes reported as compared to 582 in November of 2021.

The most significant increases came in motor vehicle theft, which jumped from 79 to 128, an increase of 62%. Dallas’ District 11 also saw a similar rise in vehicle thefts in October.

In 2020, the FBI reported that Texas had over 84,000 motor vehicle thefts, second only to California’s 168,323 in the U.S. There were 810,400 total vehicle thefts in the U.S. in 2020.

“In 2020, the number of vehicles stolen was up 11.8 percent from 724,872 in 2019,” The FBI said. “Motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 246.0 per 100,000 people in 2020, the highest rate since 2009 when the rate was 259.2. The 2020 rate was up from 220.8 in 2019.”

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 an especially unpleasant one for the metroplex.

Drug and narcotic violations also saw a significant increase in November 2021 compared to November 2020. A further 23 incidents occurred in November last year, for an increase of 23%. Destruction, damage, and vandalism of property also saw a growth of 18%, with 11 more occurrences this past November.

“You’re never going to satisfy everybody,” Council Member Arnold said last August, according to Verifythis.com. “My community leaders are saying just this. You cannot blame Chief Renee Hall for the crime in this city, nor can you just blame it all on the police.”

Arnold’s statements came at a Public Safety Committee meeting where Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall and her leadership team were featured. Chief Hall has since resigned from her post.

“As your incumbent City Council Member for District 4, I offer the consistency and continuity that we need right now,” reads the “About Me” page on Arnold’s website. “Over the past year, I have focused not only on the immediate issues presented by the pandemic but also on goals we set to improve opportunity and quality of life in our district. We are making great progress on both fronts.”

Despite this summarization from the councilwoman, under her leadership, most “progress” regarding crime does not appear to have been in a positive direction.

Other areas of crime that saw an increase between November 2020 and November 2021 in Dallas District 4 were drug and narcotic violations (up to 59 incidents from 36), assault offenses (71 up from 60), and destruction, damage, and vandalism of property (70 up from 61).

District 4 did see a slight improvement in two categories of milder crime in the same timeframe: larceny and theft offenses and public intoxication.

However, that does not seem likely to become the trend given some of Council Member Arnold’s comments.

The Texan reported that earlier this month during a committee meeting, Arnold revealed she believes people need to move away from calling the police for assistance.

“[We have to] wean people off … their addiction to calling the police every time something comes up,” Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold said, per The Texan.

This stance seems contradictory to a tweet from Arnold on July 1, 2021, just before Independence Day where she encouraged people to report violence and fireworks. The tweet featured images of her posing with police with the caption “Public Safety Update.. Chief.. Councilmembers and Constituents. Report the Fireworks and Violent Crimes..”

Last September, The Texas Scorecard reported Arnold voted in favor of a move to cut police and firefighter overtime in the proposed 2020 budget and instead spend it on growing government.

That same month, Arnold released a statement in which she said, “You may have heard the City Council voted to defund the Dallas Police Department. That’s not true! Twelve of my colleagues and I voted to reprogram $7 million in police overtime pay in order to create programs and outreach efforts that will help reduce neighborhood crime rate,” NBC DFW reported.

“This initial action was taken during the ‘straw vote’ session of the budget process. This action does not represent a lack of support for DPD,” she declared in the subsequent press release.

She then added, “The City can’t arrest its way out of the poverty and desperation issues that often lead to crime.”

According to Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, a shortage of officers was resulting in higher overtime costs as the city’s crime problem worsens.

The Dallas Express reached out to Arnold to discuss the crime in her district on more than one occasion but calls and emails went unanswered.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts. Curious how we got our numbers? Check out our methodology page here.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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