Opinion: New Ordinance but No Solution

Dallas City Council Hall
Dallas City Council Hall | Image by City of Dallas

The Dallas City Council voted unanimously last Wednesday to pass a new event safety ordinance. Through an amendment to the Dallas City Code, the ordinance was created to deter and prevent tragedies such as the shooting at an outdoor event in Dallas, the Epic Easter Bike Out and Field Party, on April 2nd that left one person dead and 16 others injured. This was the second death in two weeks in the Dallas area involving violence at an unregulated event.

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

Any promoters who do not properly register with the city can now face a $2,000 fine if they fail 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.

Dallas remains statistically more dangerous than most areas of the state. The Dallas Police Department has recorded 10 more homicides this year than they did at this same point last year.

How does the City Council respond?

They make a new revenue source for the city and try to fool residents into thinking that they solved the issue. They require a “safety plan” from event promoters that does little to ensure the event is actually safe. For example, the ordinance requires that an event plans to have security but does not specify that it must be proportional to the size of the event and only gives a $500 slap on the wrist for non-compliance. That’s a $500 fine for negligence that may have cost someone their life.

How does any of this stop crime, help policing, or keep people alive?

Residents should demand that their city representatives take further action to secure their public safety. We need more resources allocated to our police department. We need those who have neglected their obligations and allowed homelessness to run rampant to be held accountable!

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