DPD’S Bait Car Unit Sees It’s Highest Arrest Rate Since 2015


The Dallas Police Department’s Mobile Surveillance Unit finished out 2019 with 192 bait car activations that yielded 217 arrests for the year. The numbers are the highest since 2015.

“The Mobile Surveillance Unit expanded in early September of this year and has seen great success since adding more members to the squad and centralizing the program,” said Emily Davis, Dallas Police Department’s Mobile Surveillance Unit Manager. “We expect more of the same in 2020.”

In 2015, 384 arrests were made. That number dropped to 213 in 2016. It declined even more in 2017 to 99 arrests. However, the unit saw a resurgence of nearly 118% for 2018, ending the year with 216 arrests.

Davis said there’s no question that the numbers being produced are due to the expansion of the program and its officers. Another factor to consider is the unit’s collaborative efforts with other units when it comes to surveillance operations. Members of the unit have worked hard to spread the word about the cars’ capabilities and usage.

Now that officers in the unit are more centralized, they can target high crime areas more efficiently and utilize the vehicles and trackers more broadly throughout the department. The unit plans to continue expanding, optimistically looking for more success than in years past.