As Violent Crime Rose Nationwide in 2021, Dallas Bucked the Trend

The murder wave that swept over huge cities and little towns giventhat the start of the pandemic ongoing throughout the United States through 2021, according to criminaloffense information. But Dallas, the country’s 9th biggest city, bucked the pattern.

In Los Angeles, murders leapt 12 percent compared to2020 Chicago saw more than 800 murders in 2021, the greatest in 25 years. Philadelphia logged 559 murders, the greatest on record.

In Dallas, murders dropped by 12 percent.

The murders are part of a wider total drop in criminaloffense in Dallas. Robberies dropped by 27 percent and worsened attack by 2 percent—making Dallas one of coupleof significant cities that saw a decrease in violent criminaloffense throughout 2021.

The city has about 3,100 cops officers serving 1.3 million citizens.

A Dallas police car
A Dallas authorities carsandtruck and an emergencysituation action car in a file picture. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)

Back in May 2021, Dallas’ violent criminaloffense was on track to exceed that of 2020, as tookplace in other cities.

But that extremely month the city’s brand-new cops chief Edgardo Garcia rolled out a hot area policing method in a coupleof lots communities wrecked with violent criminaloffense.

Those communities saw a sharp decrease in violent criminalactivity and assisted drive down the city’s general rate, according to information released by the Dallas Police Department.

Dallas’ policing technique was the creation of Michael Smith and Rob Tillyer, 2 criminologists at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

Epoch Times Photo
Michael Smith (Courtesy of Michael Smith)

They worked with Dallas cops to divide up the city into 101,000 grids, each determined 300-feet-by-300-feet, about the size of a city block. They ranked the grids based on the number of violent criminalactivities they had in the previous 3 months to 6 months.

They then selected the leading 47 grids and made one of 2 policing modifications in them: either a rise of patrol vehicles with emergencysituation lights turned on throughout peak criminalactivity hours or a rise of specialized officers to display repeat transgressors with a understood arrest history.

By Aug. 1, 2021, those grids saw an nearly 50 percent decrease in violent criminalactivity (murder, burglary, and worsened attack), whereas most other sectors saw a double-digit boost.

Some locations instantly surrounding the targeted locations saw a sharp boost in criminalactivity most mostlikely due to criminaloffense displacement.

But because those 47 grids alone accounted for about 10 percent of the city’s overall violent criminaloffense, their enhancement in street security had a outofproportion effect on the city’s general criminaloffense rates.

The city’s overall number of murders was driven down by 2 percent (compared to 2020) and break-ins by 25 percent by Aug. 1.

The cops department’s criminologist partners evaluate prepare execution information every 3 months.

“Our criminaloffense strategy is 100 percent evidence-based and we brought together the finest understanding and researchstudy that are presently readilyavailable on what works in policing to control violent criminaloffense,” Smith informed The Epoch Times.

Hot Spot Policing

Hot area policing rests on a basic understanding of metropolitan criminalactivity: most violent criminaloffenses are devoted by a little group of repeat wrongdoers within a little group of geographical locations, Smith stated.

So by driving up policing in these high-crime locations, authorities might lower total criminalactivity in a brief duration of time.

It is a well-proven policing technique based on over 25 years of proof, according to Robin Engel, teacher of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati.

Engel is likewise the director of researchstudy at the International Association Chiefs of Police’s Center for Police Research and Policy.

Epoch Times Photo
Robin Engel (Courtesy of Robin Engel)

But to make it work in practice regional cops required to recognize the kind of additional policing that finest attendedto their distinct criminaloffense issues, the level of additional policing that the neighborhood was comfy with, and that they had the workforce to beef up policing in targeted locations, Engel stated.

For example, patrol vehicles with flashing lights may work muchbetter at decreasing violent criminaloffense, whereas foot patrols were muchbetter at minimizing residentialorcommercialproperty criminaloffense.

Also, cops departments might include officers just to boost existence, or they might get officers to do something at the verysame time, such as stopping suspicious individuals for examination.

“We’ve seen reactions when officers are really proactive, doing a lot of traffic stops, ‘stop and frisk,’ or arrests of small criminalactivity.

“Though these practices may drive down criminalactivity in the brief term they may not be the choice of the neighborhood and might have a unfavorable effect in the long term,” Engel stated.

In Dallas, Garcia and Smith settled on 2 hot area policing techniques: patrol carsandtrucks with emergencysituation lights (activated for 15 minutes at each published area) and focused tracking of repeat transgressors determined through arrest information.

Garcia informed Dallas city council when he provided the crime-fighting strategy in May, “Generalized ‘stop and frisk,’ oversaturation, or dragnet methods that lead to skepticism of authorities and neighborhood animosity—we will not do that. We focused on a little number of understood repeat culprits.”

By end of 2021, when Smith assessed DPD’s arrests information he had a unexpected finding: officers made less arrests in the grids touched by hot area policing compared to 2020—subsequently, the city’s overall arrests likewise went down, all while violent criminaloffenses dropped while under the brand-new strategy.

“Here in Dallas violent criminaloffense is going down at the verysame time arrests are going down,” Smith stated. “This is an fantastic story. You puton’t see that coupling extremely frequently. It is impressive.”

In January, Garcia informed the city council that he might bring hot area policing to more locations if he had more workforce.

One of the fundamental issues of hot area policing is that criminalactivity may come back onceagain after additional officers are pulled, according to Engel.

So far in Dallas the locations affected by the technique have not seen an boost in violent criminaloffense months after additional policing was stopped, according to Smith.

Only the First Step

Hot area policing was just the essential veryfirst action towards long-lasting criminalactivity decrease, according to Smith.

“First you have to get control of the violence. Police are the aspect of federalgovernment that are finest located to do that, so the veryfirst stage of our strategy—hot area policing—is extremely much a police-led method,” Smith stated.

“Once you lower the violence, produce self-confidence in the neighborhood, and buy yourself some breathing space, you can bring in other aspects such as social services and tasks. But you should develop area veryfirst for those things to work,” he stated.

The 2nd phase, which is in preparation now, focuses on examining and interrupting criminalactivity networks; the 3rd phase functions a holistic technique where numerous firms work together to reinforce education, social services, and tasks in the neighborhood.

The hot area technique was difficult to sustain in the long term for another factor: noone desires to have an inhabiting army in their area all the time, Engel stated.

The three-stage criminalactivity strategy of Dallas was designed on a comparable three-stage strategy Engel and her group created for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, what’s the magic with Dallas?’ Well it is not truly anything brand-new.

“We understand how to minimize violence and that understanding is based on years of researchstudy and proof. It is simply that Dallas is executing it well in a focused, tactical method,” Engel stated.

“I think the concern in numerous cities now is that you have a lot of well-intended individuals doing several violence decrease methods, however there is no political will to bring all these things together or phase them properly in time and area to be most efficient. That is the issue,” she included.

Cara Ding


Cara is a Chicago-based Epoch Times pressreporter. She can be reached at [email protected].

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