DALLAS - Eric Johnson was officially sworn in on Monday as the new mayor for the city of Dallas.
Johnson is pledging a new day for the city and ensured that the safety of citizens is one of his top priorities. However, he did not make any mention of the active shooter situation that unfolded Monday morning at the federal courthouse building just an hour and a half before his inauguration began.
The new mayor laid out a strategy to immediately have more boots on the ground in Dallas until the city manages to hire and retain more officers.
“We can, and we will create a brighter future for Dallas,” he said.
Johnson is optimistic about the future, but he was overshadowed by another violent morning in the city. Just a mile away from the swearing-in ceremony, the Earle Cabell Federal Building was on lockdown. A man was shot dead by law enforcement after firing several rounds into the courthouse. The new mayor made no mention of the situation.
When Mayor Johnson was asked about the incident during a Q&A session after the inauguration, he walked away. He did answer questions about public safety, in general, saying he plans to beef up the police presence in Dallas by asking the state to deploy troopers and equipment in Dallas.
“I’m also told we have the potential to rely on some of these other partnerships we have and expand them. Partners with the sheriff's office, county, FBI, and federal to make sure we get this thing under control as quickly as possible.”
Johnson said long-term the city needs to hire and retain more Dallas police officers.
"I'm describing this as an immediate short to medium term to address the current crisis,” he said.
But moments later, the mayor backed away from the term ‘crisis.’ It’s a description he avoided during the campaign.
“Crisis to me is language that doesn't contribute to solving the problem,” he said.
Only three out of a half dozen reporters had asked questions when a staffer called an end to the news conference.
Mayor Johnson also outlined priorities to institutionalize civility and respect at city hall and develop a more skilled workforce through improving public schools. He also called for an end to the corruption in Dallas immediately.
“There is no place in government for corruption,” he said.
The members of the Dallas City Council were sworn in. Eight of them are new including Carolyn King Arnold who convicted former Councilman Dwaine Caraway David Blewett who defeated longtime and often controversial Councilman Philip Kingston.
Outgoing Mayor Mike Rawlings bid farewell to the city on Twitter after serving eight years.