City Hall

Dallas Police Plan to Cut Violent Crime Focused on Drugs and Domestic Violence

State troopers and Dallas County sheriff's deputies will help the Dallas Police Department serve domestic violence and drug warrants, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced Thursday. The goal is cutting off the source of a recent increase in violent crime in the city.

Last week, Brown announced a drastic plan to blunt the spike. Hundreds of officers were going to work different beats and schedules, Brown said on March 28, in an effort to curb the 75 percent increase in murders and 23 percent increase in cumulative violent crime during the first quarter of 2016 over the first quarter of 2015.

The reactions came swiftly. Members of the Dallas City Council's public safety committee called the plan unsustainable. Dallas' police unions decried the effect it would have on officers' lives. The Dallas Black Police Officers Association, previously stalwart backers of the chief, called for Brown's resignation.

The day after he announced his first plan, Brown took it back. The previous night, he said in a statement, he'd received word from the state of Texas that DPD could count on state resources. The alliance revealed Thursday is the first public word of what that partnership will look like.

"We had some questions last week about what exactly we're doing," Rawlings said.

Beginning immediately, DPD, with help from the state and county, will begin serving more warrants for domestic violence, drug and gang-related crimes. In doing so, Brown said, he hoped the department would cut down related homicides as well.

"We must adapt to a changing environment with a sense of urgency," Brown said.

Brown's initial plan would've seen 600 officers working new schedules. Thursday, the chief said only 240 DPD officers would be working new schedules targeted at violent crime. The county and state will not be helping with patrols, he said, but their aid with warrants will lessen the need for more drastic changes.

After the press conference announcing the plan, Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston reiterated that his union believes a change at the top of DPD is necessary. Adam Medrano, a member of the Dallas City Council who's been critical of Brown, said the department is making progress and Brown deserves a chance to right the ship.
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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