While violent crime is rising in many large American cities, it continues to trend downward in the city of Dallas.
In May of 2021, the Dallas Police Department implemented its Violent Crime Reduction Strategic Plan, using short, mid, and long-term strategies to fight violent crime and the crime-related conditions that come with it.
In the first year of the plan, overall violent street crime (murders, robbery, nonfamily violence aggravated assault) is down 12% citywide.
When the Crime Plan was first implemented, violent crime was trending upward.
Today, violent crime overall is trending down, even during the summer months, when violent crime is typically on the rise.
Dallas Police realize there are still challenges ahead, for example the number of homicides is up from the same time in the summer 2021, but a decrease in violent crime overall is positive step towards creating a safer Dallas.
Chief Eddie Garcia said, “We are not doing a touchdown dance. There is still work to be done. But, as the numbers are showing, the plan is showing positive results and crime is down. This didn’t happen by accident. It couldn’t have been done without the partnership we have with of our criminologists, the backing of our city leaders, the community, and businesses, or without the hard work of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department.”
Mayor Eric Johnson said, “Dallas continues to buck national trends by reducing violent crime. I firmly believe this is because we have the right approach. We are taking care of our police officers. We are giving our police chief — the best in the nation — the tools he needs to be successful. And we are investing in both data-driven policing strategies and community-based solutions. While we have significant work still ahead of us, we have proven that by working together and putting public safety first at every turn, we can build safer communities.”
The Crime Reduction Plan, developed by the Dallas Police Department, University of Texas-San Antonio criminology and criminal justice professors Drs. Michael Smith and Rob Tillyer, and the City of Dallas, uses evidence-based strategies including hot spot policing, placed network investigations and focused deterrence.
City Manager T.C. Broadnax said, “Despite the daily challenges and hard work it takes to keep our city safe, Chief Garcia and his team have done a great job in reducing crime, removing more guns from our streets, and working on recruitment efforts to increase the number of police officers. We will continue to work alongside our community to create a strong and safe Dallas.”
Violent crime in Dallas had been on the rise in the three years leading up to the Crime Plan implementation.
In the first year of the plan, hot spot policing has proven the biggest contributor to lowering violent crime.
In hot spot policing, DPD increased police visibility at micro locations (330’x330’ grids) where data showed the most violent crime in the city was concentrated.
As a result, violent crime was reduced by 10.7% in the identified grids in the first year of the plan.
The data also shows that Dallas Police are not arresting their way out of crime.
While the police presence did increase in the violence prone areas, arrests and 911 calls for violent crimes have decreased.
Calls to report violent crime were down 20-50% during treatment periods in grid areas.
Less crimes being committed in those areas, led to less arrests.
Now in its second year, the Crime Plan will continue with hot spot policing and will also continue to implement more placed network investigations and increased focused deterrence.
With PNI, Dallas Police will still focus on eliminating the criminal element in grids, including gang and narcotics activity, to safeguard the individuals who live in those communities and improve quality of life.
With focused deterrence, the long-term component of the plan to change culture and violent crime behavior, Dallas Police will work with city departments, clergy, businesses. This component will also work to provide resources to the community like jobs, education and assisting with social issues.
Key milestones for the first year of the plan:
Overall violent crime is down 12% from the year prior to the crime plan being implemented.
Violent crime continues to trend downward
- Murders were 13% lower during the Crime Plan year
- Robberies were 17-22% lower during the Crime Plan year depending on robbery type
- Aggravated assaults (non-family violence) were down 5% in the Crime Plan year
In May 2021, 3550 East Overton was the number one grid in terms of violent crime. As of September 2022, it is no longer an identified grid.