DALLAS - It's been 90 days since the new Dallas police chief implemented his Violent Crime Reduction Plan and it appears to be working.
Violent crime in targeted areas of the city is down by double digits, officials said Monday. Chief Eddie Garcia briefed the city's Public Safety Committee and said homicides and robberies are down in the last three months.
"I hate using the term ‘All hands on deck.’ Seems so cliché, but it’s the focus of every member of this police department," Garcia said.
He said violent crime was down almost 46 percent in the targeted grids compared to the 18-week pre-intervention period, which helped hold down violence citywide.
"I've been working on this plan for a very long time and now we’re going into phase two," Garcia said.
He said 11 of the original 47 grids need to be carried over into phase two, as high police visibility in these areas contributed to the overall decline. Police said aggravated assaults are still a big concern.
Committee members said Monday they are optimistic about the early results.
"I think it’s important for you to be doing exactly what you're doing and weighing us against what we can and what we should be doing," said councilman Adam McGough.
Repeat offenders are another target of the chief's plan. The suspect arrested in Monday’s early morning shooting on McKinney Avenue in Uptown has prior arrests for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, and evading arrest.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata says the chief's plan is working.
"As a police department, we need to make sure that we maintain a large visual strength during those times, especially through the entertainment districts," he said.
Mata said while situations likes the Uptown shooting are understandably unnerving, overall the streets are getting safer.
"If you look at the statistics of what's going on in Uptown, violent crime is actually lowered in the Uptown district," he said.