Attorney General Announces $3.1 Million in Federal Funds to Hire Dallas Cops

The city of Dallas is going to be getting some extra help hiring the 549 cops the Dallas Police Department intends to bring on during the next year.

Monday afternoon, as part of United States Community Policing Week, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the city of Dallas will receive $3.1 million to bring on more cops as part of a new, $119 million federal program to shore up the country's community policing efforts.

Flanked by a couple of Dallas Cowboys and a couple more Dallas Police Department recruits, Lynch told a group of Dallas students Monday that Dallas was an example for the rest of the country when it comes to community policing, praising the city and outgoing DPD Chief David Brown for their responses to the July 7 ambush that killed five Dallas cops.

"I was looking for those great examples ... Dallas has always been that model."

tweet this
"One of the things I did when I became the attorney general a little over a year ago was start a community policing tour. I visited different cities, some of which had had a very challenged relationship with law enforcement but had developed a very positive one," Lynch said. "I was looking for those great examples ... and, of course, Dallas has always been that model."

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten compared the city of Dallas to a football locker room: When people from different backgrounds come together in crisis, he said, they become a real community. 

"To see that growth that comes, it's a pretty special feeling," Witten said.

Dallas activists who don't share Lynch's view of the city spoke out Monday against her visit. The attorney general is ignoring Dallas' bigger issues, the Next Generation Action Network said in a statement.

"In light of all the recent attention to the city of Dallas surrounding the tragic police murders on July 7 after a peaceful protest led by NGAN, it is irresponsible to ignore the fact that Dallas, Texas, has its own Alton Sterling and Philando Castile," Rasheedah McClenon, NGAN's deputy chief of staff said. "The Dallas Police Department and DART are not the only ones who experienced loss at the close of July the 7th. The entire city of Dallas lost that night. And 800 plus protestors were traumatized and scarred for life, not to mention the other officers who witnessed the killings as well. The morale is low and now is not the time for sweeping these instances under the rug."

Tuesday night, NGAN plans to rally at the University of North Texas at Dallas, where Lynch is set to make an appearance at a National Night Out event. They will call for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Dallas Police Department. 

"To come to Dallas and not address solid police reform as well as community relations is nothing more than a farce. Officers are leaving the department in droves and this city is currently in shambles. Community leaders must be allowed to speak to the frustrations of the people in all of this confusion or only more confusion will come," McClenon says.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young