Dallas police chief might need to accelerate crime-reduction goals

If I were a betting man, and I’m not, I might be willing to wager some dough that Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall could be in some trouble with one of her bosses, Mayor Eric Johnson.

Hall’s department is in some serious trouble. The city she is in charge of protecting and serving has been in the midst of a violent crime wave. The city suffered through more than 200 homicides in 2019. Chief Hall has pledged to reduce violent crime by 5 percent this year.

Mayor Johnson has said that isn’t good enough. The chief’s goals aren’t aggressive enough. He didn’t say so the other day, but he seemed to my ears to imply that his patience is pretty thin as it is and he wants the chief to re-do her strategy for reducing violent crime in the Texas’s third-largest city.

My wife and I — along with our son, daughter-in-law and our grandkids — live in the greater Dallas area. We all venture on occasion into the belly of the beast. While we aren’t in imminent danger all the time, it does give me pause whenever I travel into the city.

I understand fully the difficulty of the job that U. Renee Hall took on when she became Dallas’s top cop. I am not a police expert. I cannot offer any counsel on how the city’s police department can stem the crime wave that is plaguing the community. Gov. Greg Abbott recently stepped in by ordering the Department of Public Safety to dispatch state troopers into Dallas to assist the city police department, freeing up Dallas PD officers to concentrate more on the violent crime incidents.

If my ol’ bones are accurate, though, and Mayor Johnson is as alarmed at the crime crisis as he suggests he is, then the police chief will need to get real busy … real fast.

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