Domestic Violence in Dallas: Arrests Are a Priority for Dallas Police
Dallas crime rates are really high, and local law enforcement is doing all sorts of things to try and combat the skyrocketing numbers of criminal acts being reported in the Dallas area. There have been cries to oust the Dallas Police Chief, things are so bad — so far, Police Chief Brown is weathering the storm.
How high? It’s now reported that the homicide rate is up 80% in Dallas as of March 2016.
So, it’s a big concern here – these murders, killings, homicides. According to Chief Brown, a big part of those death rates involve crimes of domestic violence (referred to as “family violence” if you’re looking at the Texas Penal Code). (The other big contributor to the current homicide rate? Drugs: drug deals that fail in some way, resulting in violence.)
Domestic Violence in Dallas
Domestic violence can involve a wide variety of things. While most people think about a married couple where the wife is beaten or abused by her spouse, it can also involve couples who aren’t together any longer (fights between exes) as well as altercations between college roommates, boyfriends and girlfriends, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, grandparents and grandkids — well, you get the idea.
So, granted that widespread and sometimes deadly domestic violence is happening here in North Texas and specifically in the city of Dallas, what to do?
Well, criminal defense lawyers are ready right now for clients calling them to report that they’ve been arrested for domestic violence. Or to have loved ones call, asking for help because their loved one has been taken by the police on a family violence charge.
Domestic violence arrests are going to be happening a lot more in 2016. How do we know this? Because the police are ramped up for making these arrests, and there are lots of politicians working hard on the domestic violence issue right now. Here’s what is happening….
All These Task Forces: State, City, Police
One big answer to all this crime involving domestic violence, from the government’s perspective? Create a Task Force.
1. Dallas Violent Crime Task Force
The Dallas Police Department has just formed its Violent Crime Task Force to deal with the high homicide rate here. The Dallas Police Task Force combines 170 police officers from several different departments, including police dogs from its K9 unit as well as SWAT, Metro Task Force, Gang Unit, and Narcotics, to work in specific neighborhoods and communities in Dallas. Dallas Deputy Chief Paul Stokes heads up the new Task Force.
Right now, the Dallas Police Department Violent Crime Task Force will be focusing upon violent crime and specifically domestic violence calls in the following areas:
- Forest Audelia
- Five Points
- Ross Bennett
- Hampton Ledbetter
- Hatcher Scyene (to include Julius Schepps Central and Central CF Hawn).
Dallas Police Chief Brown has also asked for DPS Troopers to lend a hand here. Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers will be working with the Dallas police to locate domestic violence suspects in “high-risk” situations. Ditto the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
The Dallas Police Task Force has been on the job for about a month now, moving in waves from one community to the next, intentionally making their presence known.
Will this lower domestic violence in the city of Dallas? We’ll know soon enough. You know those officers are ready to arrest.
2. Dallas Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force Report and City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force
Back in 2013, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings created his Domestic Violence Task Force to study the problem of domestic violence here after there were several murders involving domestic violence that year.
The City of Dallas’ Domestic Violence Task Force is an organization composed of representatives of over 40 local agencies dedicated to dealing with the problem of domestic violence in various ways, and to bolster communication between these groups.
Last fall, the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force Report was published, compiled by researchers at The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas. Read the report here, as part of our Online Library:
Taking information for local battered women’s shelters, police departments, and county prosecutors, among others, the Mayor’s report finds that there were 1761 domestic violence felony arrests by the Dallas Police Department during the time period of June 2014 to May 2015, and 10 domestic violence murders happened during that year.
According to the Mayor, after reading this new Task Force report, the Task Force will now monitor how these domestic violence cases move through the Dallas criminal courts.
Local police are getting special instructions, too: they are being trained to watch out for individuals considered to be particularly dangerous in a domestic violence call, as potential killers, and to be prepared to arrest them. (This is a different project from the Dallas Police Violent Task Force.)
So, the Mayor has his own group that are watching the domestic violence cases as they get filed (from arrest to prosecution), sort of grading the papers of the local police and prosecutors.
Think that isn’t increasing the pressure to arrest and try domestic violence cases?
3. State of Texas Domestic Violence Task Force
In 2013, the Texas Legislature also created its own state-wide Task Force for domestic violence. This local study by the Dallas mayor isn’t to be confused with the State of Texas Task Force on Domestic Violence, although both reports were published within a short time of each other last fall.
The Texas Task Force issued its own Domestic Violence Report in September 2015. You can also find this Statewide Domestic Violence report in our Online Library:
Arrests for Domestic Violence in Dallas and North Texas
Domestic violence is getting lots of discussion among politicians as well as police these days. News reports are following stories of domestic violence in our area. All these means that local police officers, from the Dallas Police Department as well as other police and county sheriff’s departments are going to be more alert to domestic violence issues, and ready to make an arrest on a domestic violence charge.
We are going to see more arrests for violations of family violence laws as defined by the Texas Penal Code in the next few months and throughout 2016.
Some will be valid arrests, some will not. Some will be over-charged, too. It’s happening.
For more information, check our web resources on domestic violence and see Michael Lowe’s Case Results. Also check out his article:
TOP 10 MISTAKES DEFENDING TEXAS FAMILY VIOLENCE CASES – Dallas Justice Blog
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