Citizens recently exposed an internal City of Dallas decision to no longer assign police officers to certain types of calls. Within a few hours, not only did citizens force the decision to be walked back, but their outcry revealed the city council had not even been briefed before implementation.
On Saturday afternoon, a photo surfaced of a City of Dallas memo outlining that other services, not the Dallas Police Department, would be utilized in response to calls such as reckless damage, criminal mischief, identity theft, and interference with child custody. Only under some exceptions would an officer be dispatched.
“Think of how many people are reading this right after paying their giant DCAD property tax bill,” commented one citizen.
“This is why I won’t be staying in Dallas,” wrote another. “It isn’t safe now and looks like we want to become a mini-Portland.”
The memo also caught the attention of Gov. Greg Abbott. “We will not allow this California style lawlessness in Texas,” he tweeted. “The State of Texas will begin work this month to fix this.”
Citizen Malcom Chakery reached out to the police, who confirmed the memo’s authenticity but said it was not meant to be shared with the public until the new chief, Eddie Garcia, had reviewed it. Chakery shared a screenshot of an email from DPD to Mayor Eric Johnson and the city council, which said the “department is still in the evaluation phase on this item,” but “those actions set out in the memorandum have been rescinded at this time.”
A similar announcement was given to the public.
Citizen outcry over the memo became so great that Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn responded, revealing the council “was not briefed.”
This deep state city action and citizen victory follow a tumultuous 2020, with the city’s highest murder rate in 15 years, a majority of city council cutting $7 million from police overtime (relying on the emergency reserve fund to fill the gap), and some council members even trying to interfere with resupplying police with rife ammunition and tear gas.
City Manager T.C. Broadnax made “defund police” activists part of the interview panel that hired incoming Police Chief Garcia. In Dallas, the city manager reports to the city council and the mayor.
In response to last year’s police overtime cut, Keep Dallas Safe has called for citizens to run for Dallas City Council, and the organization is interviewing candidates. January 13 is the final date for candidates to file for the May 1 election.
Citizens concerned about the internal memo and the reassigning of police calls may contact city council and Mayor Eric Johnson. Those concerned about local governments not delivering public safety may contact their state representative and state senator.