By Jennifer Duval
Dallas has a new police chief starting Feb. 3, and he’ll be wading into a tumultuous situation at city hall. Eddie Garcia will become the first Latino police chief in Dallas history next month. He, along with Dallas city leaders, were blindsided earlier this month when an internal, unsigned memo about deferring 9-1-1 calls was released. As stated in a previous neighborhood email, the memo indicated police would no longer be dispatched for crimes like burglary of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief.
The new chief will also be working with a city government that’s currently experiencing a lot of turmoil – both internal and external. The latest conflict stems from distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine – the council is squabbling with the mayor, the mayor is squaring off with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and all of the council members seem weary of the constant shuffling of committees spearheaded by the mayor. (Click the blue hyperlinks for details.) And all of the infighting comes in the midst of a historic rise in violent crime for our city.
Garcia is a retired chief from San Jose, Calif. He beat out six other candidates, including some internal finalists, for the job. The Dallas Morning News and D Magazine (along with several other media outlets) have profiled him, if you’d like to learn more about the incoming chief.
Meanwhile, it’s still early enough to join Crime Watch if you haven’t already – the department is in flux, and crime is still dangerously high, so we are blessed to have this program. The more neighbors who join, the more patrol hours we’ll have!