DALLAS — They are numbers unmatched by any other large city in America.
Murders in Dallas are down 15% over the last two years. Rapes dropped 40%. Robberies are nearly 30% lower. And aggravated assaults have declined 5% since 2021.
One reason for that success?
Data. And lots of it.
When Chief Eddie Garcia took over the Dallas Police Department more than two years ago, he began working with criminologists from the University of Texas San Antonio.
After they divided Dallas into football field sized plots, they noticed that just 50 out of more than 100,000 of those plots accounted for as much as 10% of the entire city’s violent crime.
That led DPD to beef up its presence in those particular areas.
And it’s worked so well, other departments are taking notice.
“I'll be honest with you, when we started this two years ago, when I talked to the criminologists, they had not heard of a lot of departments in this country really using doctors and criminologists to do things. And now it's starting to become more, I don’t want to say popular, but more common,” Chief Garcia said on Y’all-itics.
But it’s not just crime-fighting science that’s helping to reduce the crime numbers in Dallas.
Chief Garcia says city leaders have made big investments in policing.
And officer morale is up for several different reasons.
One is a program officers can now turn to if they’re looking for help with their mental health.
“When I started back in the early 90s, if I was working with my partner and a call screwed me up and I turned to my partner, and I go dude, that call really screwed me up. My partner would tell me, you need to suck it up, dude, we got to get going,” the chief told us.
Another part of the plan to improve morale involves a shortened week.
Chief Garcia tells us by summer, he plans to put some officers on 10-hour shifts for a four-day work week. It will start with a pilot program at one police station.
The chief says this has consistently been one of the top requests from the associations that represent rank-and-file officers.
“Well, you know, I've got to put my money where my mouth is. And again, we have to look. It’s not all about dollars and cents,” said Garcia.
Chief Garcia also says crime isn’t a partisan issue. And the stats defy complaints by some conservatives that Democrat run cities are overrun by crime. Listen to the latest episode of Y’all-itics to hear his thoughts on that. Cheers!