UPDATE 9/15/20 10:22 PM: Councilman Chad West contacted Texas Scorecard and reiterated his reason for voting to remove $7 million from the Dallas Police overtime budget: he’s concerned overtime is being abused, and wants to motivate management to stop using it so often. 

As the final budget vote—as well as the vote on whether to defund the police—approaches, Dallas City Council members were informed that the city’s violent crime has risen since last year.

During a meeting of the Dallas City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Monday, council members were informed that violent crime, including murders and assaults, has increased. As of yesterday’s report, there have been 156 murders in Dallas, compared with 150 at this time last year. This coincides with Mayor Eric Johnson’s report to council last week.

Council members were also told that overall crime is down. Last year, Dallas County’s Democrat District Attorney John Creuzot decided not to prosecute “low-level” offenses, raising questions about if the overall crime rate has actually gone down or if it only seems that way because “low-level” offenses aren’t being reported.

Police informed council members that the uptick in violent crime is connected to disputes between associates, which they said they couldn’t explain. However, according to a report by The Economist, domestic violence in American cities increased after government-mandated shutdowns were issued in response to the Chinese coronavirus earlier this year. Similar results were also found outside America.

Another connection has been found between government-mandated shutdowns and the riots that spread nationwide this year.

Two weeks ago, the Dallas City Council voted 11-3 to take $7 million from the police overtime budget and spend it elsewhere. Councilmembers West, Thomas, Resendez, Narvaez, Medrano, Kleinman, Arnold, Blewett, Blackmon, Bazaldua, and Atkins voted yes.

They also voted to pull $1.5 million from the firefighter’s overtime budget. Atkins, Bazaldua, Blackmon, Blewett, Kleinman, McGough, Medrano, Narvaez, and West voted yes.

Last week, the council rejected Johnson’s attempt to restore the police overtime funding as well as his push to cut $6.5 million from the proposed city budget of $3.8 billion.

The city council is scheduled to adopt the budget and tax rate on September 23. Concerned citizens may contact the Dallas City Council and Mayor Johnson.

Lee Kleinman: sophia.figueroa@dallascityhall.com214-670-7817
Adam Medrano: adam.medrano@dallascityhall.com214-670-4048
Tennell Atkins: maria.salazar2@dallascityhall.com214-670-4066
Adam Bazaldua: Yesenia.Valdez@dallascityhall.com214-670-4689
David Blewett: david.blewett@dallascityhall.com214-670-5415
Adam McGough: adam.mcgough@dallascityhall.com214-670-4068
Chad West: Chad.West@dallascityhall.com214-670-0776
Casey Thomas: richard.soto@dallascityhall.com214-670-0777
Carolyn King Arnold: District4@DallasCityHall.com214-670-0781
Jaime Resendez: jaime.resendez@dallascityhall.com214-670-4052
Tennell Atkins: maria.salazar2@dallascityhall.com214-670-4066
Paula Blackmon: District9@DallasCityHall.com214-670-4069
Cara Mendelsohn: cara.mendelsohn@dallascityhall.com214-670-4067
David Blewett: david.blewett@dallascityhall.com214-670-5415
Jennifer Gates: jennifer.gates@dallascityhall.com214-670-7057
Omar Narvaez: omar.narvaez@dallascityhall.com; 214-670-4199

This article has been updated since publication. 

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


The Deafening Silence of Fear

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