Dallas police refines target area list to fight crime more efficiently

The Dallas Police Department is refocusing one of its efforts to be more efficient in fighting crime.

Instead of just focusing on where crime is happening within the city, the department is taking a deeper look at the data. It’s trying to get to the root of the issue in some of the city’s high-crime areas.

“[We are looking at] what's happening in the neighborhood, who's causing problems and what can we do better,” Dallas Police Department Executive Assistant Chief David Pughes said,

The department has trimmed its new target area action grids, called “TAAGS,” from 50 areas to 31. Those 31 grids are smaller but packed with critical crime fighting information. Police say about 30 percent of the city’s crime occur within these 31 TAAGS.

"It really gives us the ability to focus very narrowly on where the crime occurring, and the people that are committing the crimes,” Pughes said.

Within each grid police compile the number of calls, offenses and arrests made, as well the addresses of arrested people, gang members and even parolees.

"If we have a prolific burglar in that area, chances are there is going to be an increase in burglaries,” Pughes said.  “If somebody just got out of jail, we've seen that upon reentry, all of a sudden there is a spike.  So, that gives us this additional layer of information.”

Councilman Kevin Felder lives in one of the TAAG areas in Buckner Terrace. He believes residents have to do their part to aid the police.

Felder canvassed one of the areas along with police and volunteers on Saturday.  The group was asking residents to share information with police and form crime watch groups.

"I think it's a great idea that they doing what they're doing,” Buckner Terrace resident Nayy Shaw said, “Because this has to stop."

Still, Shaw says it may be easier said than done. According to her, many residents in the area fear retaliation for talking to police.

Dallas police have been using TAAGs since 2008. They believe it is the most effective way to combat violent crime, and it has proven to lead to reduced crime in the past.

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