Dallas leaders working to stop illegal parties in wake of recent mass shootings

Dallas city leaders are taking steps to crack down on illegal parties after two mass shootings in the span of two weeks. 

In total, 25 people were shot and two men were killed in those incidents. The youngest victim was 13 years old. 

Police noted both of those mass shootings happened at events that didn’t have city permits. 

Dallas City Council members said they’ll be taking a look at what they can do during Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting. 

"How did we get here as a city? How did we get here as a community?" Dallas City Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold asked.

After the two mass shootings at non-permitted events on Cleveland Road and Botham Jean Boulevard, city leaders are trying to get to the root of the problem to curb gun violence. 

So far, there have been no arrests in either mass shooting that left two dead and injured dozens, but the Dallas police chief said arrests are coming. 

City leaders are trying to get a plan in motion before summer. 

"We have summertime coming and also will have Fourth of July celebrations, and we’ll be right back to the gunfire. We’ll be right back to those disagreements," Arnold said.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the department is working with the city manager’s office and city attorneys to be proactive in preventing illegal, non-permitted large events. 

"And that’s one area we need to ensure we do not have fly-by-night promoters, that not only do not have an interest in the city of Dallas, but are interested in just simply making money and getting out of town where they leave a wake of violence after they leave. We’re not going to tolerate that," Garcia said.

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Seven DPD officers were approved to work off-duty security at the most recent event, on April 2, but left before the shooting started.

Chief Garcia ordered immediate policy changes to prevent his officers from taking security jobs at non-permitted events.

Council members said they will look at how to add more checks in the permitting process itself. 

"But the bottom line is there is a process in place now, paperwork has to be authenticated, and a process is in place now for hiring off-duty officers," Arnold explained. "We now have to make sure there’s a second step to validate truly who the owner is, who the promoter is, and what their accountability will be in the process."

"The police department can only do so much, as long as we have individuals willing to take the lives of others, that’s going to be the problem," Garcia said.

The agenda for Monday’s Public Safety Committee hasn’t been released yet, but the recent gun violence is set to be discussed.

That meeting is at 1 p.m. at Dallas City Hall.

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