Police chiefs sign letter opposing DA's new criminal justice reform plan

Police chiefs in 15 North Texas cities are criticizing the Dallas County District Attorney’s plan for criminal justice reform. But, the Dallas police chief is not one of them.

Earlier this month, DA John Creuzot announced a controversial plan not to prosecute some petty crimes such as first-time marijuana offenders, theft of what he calls necessities like food worth less than $750 and the mentally ill who are arrested for trespassing.

But police groups and several Dallas County police chiefs believe the plan is an invitation to criminals.

The chiefs from major cities like Irving, Grand Prairie, Garland, Richardson and Mesquite signed an open letter that said in part “refusing to prosecute certain crimes hampers our abilities to evaluate each criminal offense individually.”

“We let far more people go by citation or warning than we do through arrest. We have to understand it’s not just about putting the dangerous criminals behind bars. It’s also about maintaining a low level of maintenance for civility. This will no doubt save the county money in the short term. In the long term we fear this will degrade quality of life,” said Grand Prairie Chief Steve Dye.

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall did not sign the letter. She explained why on Good Day FOX 4 Tuesday morning.

“I did not sign the letter because the DA came to the city of Dallas and presented his plan before our public safety and criminal justice committee. Our city leaders pledged to work with the DA in order to ensure we are dealing with the issue of disparity in enforcement as well as making sure we are dealing with crime and quality of life issues in the city of Dallas,” she said.

Hall did note that she is deeply concerned and she stand with other police chiefs in Dallas County who did sign the letter.

DA Cruezot said he will face voters and answer their questions at a series of community meetings.