On Monday, October 11, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Police Chief Eddie Garcia revealed their new plan to attempt to reduce domestic violence. According to the City of Dallas press release, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee will oversee the plan.
The Dallas Police Department will work to increase domestic violence detectives and resume home visits for victims and alleged abusers. The plan will also reorganize the domestic violence unit to include detectives who are specialized in intimate partner violence.
“Domestic violence poses unique challenges for our police officers and detectives, and we will rely on the help of our community and our partner institutions as we work to address these difficult issues,” Chief Garcia said in the press release. “But the men and women of the Dallas Police Department do not tolerate any violence in our city, and we will strive to do all that we can to help the victims of these pernicious crimes. I am proud to take these major strategic steps toward creating a safer city, and I am grateful to Mayor Johnson and the City Council for their support in this effort.”
Police officers will also begin to work with the U.S. Attorney’s office in prosecuting firearm charges if needed.
In a murder case with ties to family violence, a homicide detective will be immediately partnered with an intimate-partner family violence detective.
“Public safety comes first in Dallas,” Mayor Johnson said. “I am pleased that Chief Garcia and our police department have taken a thoughtful and holistic approach to tackling this problem. We must do everything that we can to reduce domestic violence in our city. We must take advantage of every opportunity we have to intervene in the escalating patterns of domestic violence. And we must work together to make every home in Dallas a safe home.”
Since being elected, Mayor Johnson has made it a priority to fight against domestic violence in Dallas. Chief Garcia did not address domestic violence in his plan to refuse violent crime because he wanted it to have a separate framework.
According to the press release, felony domestic assault in Dallas increased by over 13% in 2020.
Chief Garcia, who took over in February of 2021, worked with criminologists at the University of Texas at San Antonio to create his domestic violence plan. He also reviewed previous recommendations and reports from Mayor Johnson’s Domestic Violence Task Force, recently renamed the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Advisory Council.
When developing the plan, the Chief regularly spoke with the Mayor, the chair of Mayor’s Domestic Violence Advisory Council Jennifer Gates, and City Council Public Safety Chairman Adam McGough.
“Our city’s service providers have worked with the police department for years to provide safe places and vital care for victims of domestic violence,” Gates said. “But never before have we seen such a clear and comprehensive strategy to deal with violence in the home. We look forward to working with Chief Garcia, Mayor Johnson, Chairman McGough, and other leaders to implement and supplement this plan in every way that we can.”