Dallas, TX

Dallas first responders pushed to their limit by crime surge: “The police department has to grow with the city”

Amy Christie

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The past weekend was marked by a serious spike in crimes all over Dallas. 14 people got hurt after at least 8 shooting incidents, as WFAA reported.

Unfortunately, the crime wave is putting extra pressure on first responders as they do their best to help each victim. It’s also a challenge recruiting new cops right now, so the significant gap of 700 to 800 officers could spell out bigger problems on the long term.

What are the details?

Sheldon Smith, the president of the National Black Police Officers Association, gave an interview to Alex Rozier from WFAA and offered more details on the current situation and the crime rate in the city.

“We’re a city that continues to grow. Our police department has to grow as a result of that as well, and we’re simply not doing that. We’re wanting results as if we had the same number of officers that we had 15-20 years ago,” Smith said for the news outlet.

He also mentioned how tough it is to convince anyone to be a cop right now. Smith emphasized that the police department would need 700 to 800 more police officers to be able to deal with every incident and the crime spike.

“We’ve got 3200 officers and we want to be able to handle the crime problem in Dallas. Overtime is not going to be able to take care of it, we’re spending overtime where we should have actual officers that are there in place without the overtime,” he said.

With more hired officers there would be more police presence in problem areas of the city where crimes happen frequently. Smith also doesn’t think that the new laws allowing people to carry without a license will help solve the crime issue at all.

“There is no question in my mind that the number one job of the city is to provide public safety,” Dallas City Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn said after seeing the latest stats on city crimes.

She is hopeful that the new budget will take into account providing sufficient funds for the Dallas Police Department.

Along with more crimes, Dallas also faces the challenge of less 911 staff, and this causes delays in police responses.

“Citizens should be able to call 911, have someone pick up the phone and have someone immediately dispatched when it is a crisis,” Mendelsohn said, while explaining at the same time that she understands why it’s tricky to recruit for this job.

“You are constantly listening to people in trauma who are having the worst day of their life. And it’s call after call after call. So, I think naturally there’s a high turnover rate in this position and also, we’re probably not paying appropriately.”

“Overall, the officers on the street are working very hard. We continue to work hard and do everything we can to reduce crime, but we can always use more officers,” Smith concluded.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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