DALLAS - Dallas is looking to beef up its code compliance department and is having an unprecedented surge in hiring.
The city is looking to hire 34 new positions, a staffing increase of about 20%.
While applicants for code enforcement would not be police officers, the head of the department believes they could help bring down crime in Dallas in ways police, alone, cannot.
"If you can get neighborhoods that look good and look like people care, criminals are less likely to go to those areas. If there are dilapidated abandoned cars, it is a message people don't care, let’s deal our drugs take advantage of people," Carl Simpson said.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia agrees, and included the need for code compliance to get rid of blighted buildings as part of his crime reduction plan.
Simpson asked the Dallas City Council for the largest increase in staff, perhaps ever, at one time, and the city council delivered in June, with an additional $3 million for the department.
"Having additional staff will allow narrowing geographical area for officers. Provide more time and ability to reach out and talk to people and get ahead of violations," Simpson said.
The hope is also to reduce the time it takes the department to respond to complaints.
Bernetta Jo Young said they are looking to hire 31 inspectors and three supervisors who are good with people.
"Want personality that enjoys working with public, valid driving license, customer service background," Young explained.
DeAreon Johnson is hoping he will be one who makes the cut.
"I look at this job as more than a paycheck. It is about service in the community," he said.
The hourly rate ranges from 18$-22$ an hour.
The city is still accepting applications.