I wouldn’t want to be a police chief in this day and age. My father’s a retired police chief, and I’m sure he’d agree with me. It’s not the kind of job many people would want these days.
After all, police have been vilified for months, then suddenly they’re at fault for the massive spike in violence seen in so many cities across the United States.
However, one police chief is getting praise for what he’s done in his city.
Top city officials praised Dallas police Chief Eddie García’s violent crime plan this week after the department provided updated data showing that overall violent crime, murders and robberies continue to trend downward citywide — even as aggravated assaults experienced an uptick compared to last year.
The tallies come as Dallas police launch the next phase of the chief’s violent crime reduction strategy this week. The strategy focuses on place network investigations — or locating criminal networks and disrupting them.
“Criminologists will be in town to start discussions on training,” García told council members this week. “One of the products that will come from place network investigations is looking where the issues are — fixing the problem. And if that problem takes codifying certain things that we have to do as a city or other things, that is what will get borne out of that.”
Previously, the department focused on the chief’s short-term plan of increasing police visibility in 47 small geographic areas where violent crime is prevalent across Dallas. Police already has identified the next 51 grids where the department intends to concentrate resources — 40 of which will be new. That’s out of 101,402 grids citywide.
Wait…he made sure more police were seen out and about, doing their jobs, and not hiding in the closet like so many anti-police activists would prefer?
Say it ain’t so!
Well, it is, and that should hardly be surprising. No matter how many programs you put in place to try and reduce crime before it starts–a good thing, in my opinion–there were always be those who will only be dissuaded from breaking the law because a cop is right around the corner.
It’s just that simple.
Chief García recognized that and took steps to address the issues facing his city. As a result, while everyone else is seeing violent crime skyrocket, Dallas actually saw a downward trajectory for its violent crime rate. Can we call that a definitive win? Yeah, actually, we can.
What García did, though, isn’t groundbreaking. This is stuff we’ve known would work. Increased police presence has never corresponded with an increase in crime so far as I’ve been able to find. Instead, we tend to see the contrary take place. García’s move simply follows that pattern.
That’s not to say García doesn’t deserve praise. Deciding to do precisely the opposite of what activists and the media seemed to demand took guts. He put his career on the line by doing so, and it’s worked.
It seems he’s providing a very simple pathway for other communities to follow for similar results, at least so far.
Assuming, of course, they haven’t been gutted by activists’ demands.