The Dallas Express recently conducted exclusive polling of Dallas residents on crime and their perceptions of how city government is handling this critical issue. With violent crimes such as murder on the rise, gauging the public’s perception is more important now than ever.
While it may seem commonsensical to conclude that higher rates of crime have negative implications for a community, academic scholarship has definitively proven that crime victimization has wide-ranging effects on parenting, work productivity, unemployment, and intimate relationships–all crucial elements needed for any city to thrive.
Of all residents polled, 66% claimed that they were aware that “Dallas has recently had more crime per capita than Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles.” These findings were generally consistent across all racial groups, but white residents were the most likely to make affirm their awareness at 73%.
A total of 80% of black and 88% of Hispanic residents polled wanted the police to spend at least as much or more time in their neighborhood as they currently do, including 37% and 42% respectively of each demographic that specifically wanted the police to spend “more time” in their neighborhoods.
Even with the well-covered rise of the Black Lives Matter movement locally, only 20% of black residents responded that they wanted the police to spend “less time” in their neighborhoods. Hispanic residents were even lower at only 13%.
When asked if they think their “Dallas City Council member is doing enough to reduce crime in [their] neighborhood,” 54% of all residents responded “no.”
The data revealed a large disparity between white residents and non-white residents on this question: 69% of white residents responded that they did think their Dallas City Council member is doing enough to reduce crime, while only 36% of non-white residents felt the same.
Specifically, 63% of black and 67% of Hispanic residents responded “no” to this question. This is reflective of the statistics that minorities are more often the victim of crime, hence their unhappiness with their city council member.
The Dallas Express reached out to Mayor Eric Johnson and all 14 members of the Dallas City Council for comment on these poll findings, and only Councilman Cara Mendelsohn responded.
“I am a strong supporter of public safety. I was awarded the Law Enforcement Advocate of the Year Award by the Dallas Police Association earlier this year,” Mendelsohn wrote.
Despite the data returned through The Dallas Express’ polling, Mendelsohn said she does not “believe there is a significant difference of opinions by race on crime reduction or ’over policing’” and that the bulk of crime in her district is “located at apartments.”
She further claimed her district is the most racially diverse in the city and has “a lower incident number than some other parts of Dallas.”
Calling for her fellow council members to “stand together with the Mayor to support Chief Garcia’s staffing and budget needs,” Mendelsohn concluded that after “a decade of the city underpaying and understaffing DPD, [they] must fully commit to rebuilding the department to provide the service levels our residents deserve.”