Plans by the Dallas Police Department to reduce crime in Dallas during 2020 have fallen short of their goals. If reported crime rates are accurate, some criminal activity in Dallas has increased from the levels reported in 2019.

According to NBCDFW, aggravated assault unrelated to domestic violence has increased by 30 percent. There have been 757 more assaults in 2020 than were reported for 2019 as of this date. The homicide rate in Dallas for 2020 is just slightly below the rates for 2019, with 119 homicides reported in 2020 compared to 122 in 2019.

The overall violent crime rate has only increased by less than one percent. However, that number is calculated factoring in the reductions in the rate of rape and robbery. When you factor in the reductions in property crimes, the overall crime rate is about 3.48 percent lower than last year.

However, many Dallas residents are demanding answers. They are concerned about the increase in violent crimes throughout the city.

Mayor Eric Johnson issued a statement regarding the violent crime rates in Dallas. Mayor Johnson stated that the rates of violent crimes in the city remain unacceptably high. The city does not appear to be set to meet the goals established by the police chief and city manager in January. 

Dallas Violent Crime Reduction Plan for 2020

In January, Dallas Police Chief  Reneé Hall released the Violent Crime Reduction Plan for 2020. Mayor Johnson had requested the plan in December in response to the increased rate of violent crimes throughout Dallas.

The crime reduction plan has several goals:

  • A ten percent reduction in aggravated assaults and murders in the South-Central, Southeast, and Southwest Divisions.
  • A 10 percent reduction in business and individual robberies in the Southwest and Northeast Divisions. 
  • A five percent overall reduction in violent crimes throughout all divisions.

The plan called for the use of several objectives to achieve the above goals. The police would implement a data-driven approach to address the places, people, and behaviors that impact the number of violent crimes.

Another goal was to increase the solvability and clearance rates of violent crime. Police would also improve communications and coordination within the department and with external partners. Optimizing departmental resources was also an objective for reducing the rate of violent crime in Dallas.

Within each of the objectives, the plan outlined specific steps that the Dallas Police Department would utilize to achieve the objective.

For example, the plan called for creating an Intelligence Led Police Division. The ILP division includes the Crime Analysis Unit, Dallas Fusion Center, Criminal Intelligence Unit, and Real-Time Crime Center. Additionally, the plan called for:

  • Targeted patrols
  • The establishment of a new Violent Crime Reduction Team
  • Targeted warrant roundups
  • Directed tactical enforcement
  • Continued committing to the Project Safe Neighborhood Program
  • Risk Terrain Modeling to address high-risk locations
  • Targeted narcotics enforcement 
  • Development of a focused deterrence approach

Each of the objectives had various steps for achieving the desired goals. Unfortunately, it appears that the plan has not had the desired effect on crime rates throughout Dallas.

Increased Enforcement Could Lead to Unlawful Arrests

With the police intent on reaching their goals for crime reduction in 2020, some officers may feel pressured to make arrests. Therefore, individuals must understand their legal rights and exercise those rights if they are arrested.

A police officer must have probable cause to arrest a person without an arrest warrant. If the officer did not have probable cause for the arrest, any evidence obtained from the arrest could be thrown out in court. 

If a police officer confronts you, do not resist. Resisting arrest or refusing to comply with a police officer’s instructions could result in additional criminal charges. 

Instead, ask the police officer if you are being detained. If you are not being detained, you are free to leave. 

If the officer asks you to search your person, vehicle, or home, you do not have to consent to the search. Clearly state that you do not consent to the search, but do not resist. Your attorney will argue the legality of the search.

If you are arrested in Dallas, exercise your right to remain silent. 

Talking to the police is usually not in your best interest. Remember, the police can lie to you to get you to confess or give the police more information about the alleged crime. The more you say to the police, the more chance you have of making it more difficult for your criminal defense lawyer to help you.

Respectfully tell the police officers you will not answer any questions until you talk to a lawyer. Tell them directly you want to talk to a lawyer. Then stop talking until you are provided with a lawyer, or you can contact a lawyer yourself.