Dallas Police Work to Curb Violent Crime
In response to Chief Rene Hall’s recently announced 2020 crime prevention strategy, each of the Dallas police groups have conflicting views.
Greater Dallas’ Black Police Association chief said Hall’s report was a “successful idea,” while Dallas Police Association president said the proposal was “smoke and mirrors.”
Several city officials, including the mayor and president of the Public Safety Committee, said Hall’s proposal wasn’t bold enough.
Other council members said they wanted to see the plan in action before they judge it.
BPA Chairman Hopkins agrees.
“We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he said.
Hopkins, who has been a vocal supporter of the chief, said he believes a lot of the criticism of Hall’s leadership has been unfair. He blamed it in part on her being an outsider, her gender and her race.
Hall became Detroit’s first female police officer and comes to Dallas Police Department.
The leader hasn’t spoken directly on her proposal, saying she’ll wait until she introduces it to Dallas City Council.
“You’ve got issues with her being a female and then add to that an African-American female in a white conservative-dominated profession,” Hopkins said. “You’d be crazy to think those things don’t matter.”
Yet president of the Dallas Police Association, Michael Mata, said his chief concerns and her crime prevention program derive from unmet expectations.
She came here saying, I know how to fix these issues as I did so in Detroit.
Although recognizing that Hall had embraced a dysfunctional police force, he said the chief hadn’t done anything to explain her intentions, even in the recent report.
We’re thinking about 26, 27 lines, lots of big words, lots of police jargon and lots of content with no clarification, Mata said.
He said much of the strategy amounts to reinventing what the agency has either done or achieved in the past.
For example, Hall sent most of the members of crime response units back to patrol last year because of manpower shortages.
She’s also trying to build a new armed action squad, something he sees as putting back what she’s mostly scrapped but called something different.
Hopkins said running a force that lost so many employees, all of whom quit before Hall came to Dallas, is challenging.
The decreased number of police officers also meant that officers needed to be diverted from aggressive crime-fighting to tend to what had been a crippling call-load.
‘This stuff you can’t reinvent the wheel,’ Hopkins said.
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