DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With 195 murders in the city of Dallas through December 9, the pressure is on the Dallas Police Department to develop a comprehensive plan to fight violent crime.
But the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Communities has also been working quietly these past couple of months to develop its own non-police recommendations to prevent violence and present them to Mayor Eric Johnson by the first of the year.
One of the Task Force’s three Co-Chairs, Rene Martinez said Tuesday, “I would say we’re kind of at the top of the seventh inning and we’re getting there.”
Martinez said they’ve reviewed a lot of the data surrounding violent crime. “It reinforced what we know.”
He said they looked at four areas with high violent crime rates in the city.
In Northeast Dallas, he said many of the violent crimes took place at densely populated apartment complexes that weren’t near stores and other commerce.
In Southeast Dallas, he said they found gang activity.
While touring that section of the city recently, Martinez said they found a large police response to a violent crime.
He said there was a convenience store, a vacant lot, car wash and motel all within half a block.
Violent crimes often took place at motels, bars and men’s clubs in northwest Dallas, while in Southwest Dallas, many of the violent crimes took place in vacant lots, car washes, and convenience stores.
Martinez said the task force toured all four of those areas and “Got input from stakeholders who went with us from the neighborhoods. We had police representatives who work those areas on the bus with us talking to us and pinpointing those areas to us.”
The Task Force also looked at certain cities for their non-police related best practices to fight crime, including Baltimore, Oakland, St. Louis and New Orleans.
“A lot of the intervention strategies that they have, we don’t have. Really attacking crime in support of police,” Martinez said.
He said the Task Force will start to discuss what best practices from other cities they should recommend, though it was too early for him to mention specifics.
Martinez said the Task Force will ask the nonprofit and business community to help with some of the resources that will be needed.