DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Frustrated by an uptick in murders and violence in Dallas last month, community liaison Bruce Carter says there’s a sense of urgency to do something about it.
He says he developed an initiative called “I Think.” “I Think” is an innovative solution to reduce, deter, and prevent crime.”
Professional basketball player Jordan Mickey, who’s played for the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in the NBA, and played in a Russian league last year, grew up in Dallas and says he likes the idea.
“I’ll be making a six figure donation and my goal is to try to raise seven figures for this unique initiative but I’m doing this because, like I said, I love this city, I have family here, and I don’t want to see anyone I love get hurt,” said Mickey.
Carter, who works with teens to ensure they’re on the right path, wants to prevent crime at problem-plagued apartment complexes.
He’s teaming up with the Dallas nonprofit group, The Wright Way Builds A Future Foundation.
Under the “I Think” initiative, the group will pay people to document criminal activity.
Carter says, “What their job is, is to collect data of bad activity, so if they see drug activity, they see gang activity. We’re providing them with a phone, it’s called an opportunity line. They’ll take pictures, videos, and then upload that to the system.”
Carter says after verifying the activity, the program will give the information to Dallas Police to investigate.
Apartment complexes who sign up, will pay $20,000 a year he says.
The goal is to sign up 100 apartment complexes and 1,200 churches in Dallas.
The program will provide the complexes a new video camera system and classes for residents on how to resolve conflicts peacefully. “Whether it’s domestic violence of two people getting into it, we have forgotten or don’t know how to resolve conflicts without pulling a gun out. So we need to walk through what happens when you do this. So if you love your family, do you want to be in prison for the rest of your life?
The Dallas Police Department says between January 1, 2019 and May 31, 2019, there were 97 murders, far more than the 69 during the same time period in 2018.
The total number of murders, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies during the first five months of this year amounted to 4,645, which is higher than the 3,839 during the same time period last year.
DPD has lost hundreds of officers during the past several years who’ve either retired or left for other North Texas police departments amid a pension crisis.
While the pension system has been set on a proper financial course and the city increased salaries for police officers this year, the city still has more officers leaving than it has been able to hire.
But statistics provided by DPD show the department has recently closed the gap considerably from recent years.
Carter estimates “I Think” will cost $41 million and he says he’s hoping the city of Dallas will pay half that cost.
He says he’s in the process of speaking with Dallas City Council members, who’ve already been warned that future budgets will be very tight.
As for Jordan Mickey, he says he hopes along with churches, and businesses, his fellow basketball players will contribute, too.
“I’ve made a lot of friends being in the NBA, also players I know who are from Dallas who also have family there, and they don’t want to see them get hurt either,” he said
Carter says he will officially unveil the initiative at a news conference next week.