Dallas Police Chief Offers His Thoughts On Violence Surge

Dallas Police Chief Offers His Thoughts On Violence Surge
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Anyone who has followed the news to any degree knows there’s a violence surge in our nation. It’s been going on for over a year but doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Cities all across the nation are seeing a massive spike in violent crime.

For some, the answer is simple. They think we need to pass more gun control because that’s their answer to everything.

However, the police chief in Dallas, TX has his own thoughts on the subject.

In a television interview, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia refuted some of the reasoning for expanding gun control and attributed part of the rising crime rate to the movement to defund and dismantle police departments across the country.

Jeanine Pirro asked Garcia whether the administration is taking the best approach to decreasing violence with guns. The police chief told Pirro that he appreciated the fact that many people recognize “defunding and dismantling police departments is not the answer” to an uptick in violent crime.

“However, although we do have an issue with weapons and illegally possessed weapons being possessed by criminals committing harm on our cities, the data just simply doesn’t back up the fact that guns are [simply the] only driver,” Garcia explained.

“We do a lot of work with criminologists here in the city of Dallas that we’ve brought in to help us with our issues, and as they’ll point out, when crime was at its peak in the ‘80s there were many less weapons in circulation than there are today.”

When Pirro pressed Garcia on what factors are playing into violent crime, Garcia indicated it is a “combination of things.”

“Nationally, particularly because of [the] dismantling [and] defunding combination, you have officer morale — where honorable, respectable officers have felt under siege, unappreciated, undervalued — they’re human, and that impacts their work productivity. What’s happened is we’ve lost proactive police engagement where we need it the most,” Garcia said.

Garcia emphasized that officers are more likely to go the extra mile if they “feel that they’re going to be judged fairly in a crisis and they feel that procedural justice applies to them as well.”

Normally, police chiefs are more likely to mimic the prevailing politics of their communities. Being a police chief is something of a political job. After all, you have to work closely with politicians such as the mayor. So, when a large city police chief says they support gun control, I have no reason at all to give a damn.

But, when one goes against that “wisdom” and starts calling it like they see it, well, that’s something to take notice of.

Garcia makes good points, and I can’t really disagree. While not every city actively decreased funding for their department, officers everywhere have felt under siege, as Garcia describes it. I mean, how many times can you read about how police officers are just killing black men for sport before it starts to affect you?

Especially when you know it to be absolute bull?

Morale is a big problem. Being afraid to commit may also be an issue, especially after what we saw in the Ma’khia Bryant case. There was video of Bryant trying to stab another girl, giving the officer zero choice but to act immediately, which he did, and there’s been nothing but second-guessing by people who know nothing about the use of force.

It’s not difficult to see how this can play a factor.

Garcia isn’t the only police chief pointing out how decreasing funding is a less than ideal for stopping criminal activity. It’s happening all over the nation.

The big question is just how long will it take–and how many lives will it cost–before some people get the hint?