DALLAS, TX – The former San Jose, California police chief has recently passed the Texas law enforcement exam, meaning that the newly appointed Dallas police chief will be able to don the uniform on his first day within Dallas.
New Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia passed the test that licenses him as a peace officer in Texas, which will allow him to wear the DPD uniform on day one.https://t.co/cW85giKHu8
— WFAA (@wfaa) January 29, 2021
According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Chief Eddie Garcia had passed the TCOLE licensing exam with a score of 91.
The test in question licenses Chief Garcia to act as a peace officer in Texas, meaning that on his February 3rd, 2021 start date he’ll be able to adorn the Dallas Police Department uniform on his first day as chief of police.
Chief Garcia was apparently one of seven finalists being considered for chief of police for the Dallas Police Department, with his selection having been announced in December of 2020.
And the passing of the TCOLE prior to even starting as the chief of police undoubtedly serves as a morale booster for the department with respect to the incoming leadership.
If the mentioning of Chief Garcia sounds at all familiar, then it might be from when he was the San Jose Police chief and decided to share his unfiltered thoughts back in May of 2020 with respect to the complexities and contradictions of enforcing certain mandates related to the pandemic.
In a video dated May 11th of 2020 that has over 100,000 views, then-San Jose Police Chief Garcia stated the following when news crews were inquiring about pandemic related enforcements with respect to “street parades”:
“Well, first reaction to this is incredibly frustrating. Since this began, seems like the goalposts are not just moving for our community – but for law enforcement. Since day one, these orders have been ridiculously difficult to enforce.”
“But now, I don’t understand…I don’t know how any police chief, in this county, can look at their community in the face and say while people are being released out of jails on zero bail – serious criminals – that now we’re going to stop people from holding signs, driving around, and wishing individuals ‘happy birthdays’ or ‘happy graduations’.?
“I don’t understand. I can’t certainly look at my community credibly and tell them that.”
Like some outside of the scope of law enforcement have pointed out before, mandates with respect to the pandemic have been quite a hotbed of mixed messages and signals.
When looking back at 2020 with respect to the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas, literally hundreds of people were jailed for violating pandemic-related mandates.
Meanwhile, there are federal judges asking how Texas jails can reduce their inmate population due to concerns over the pandemic spreading within jail facilities. It’s a rather bizarre contradiction.
Needless to say, it sounds as though the city of Dallas is onboarding some leadership that – at the very least – is a critical thinker when it pertains to what types of mandates can be reasonably enforced.
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The city of Dallas is reeling back from a rather difficult year, especially with respect to the murder rate that affected 2020.
We at Law Enforcement Today recently shared a report on the startling murder rates that impacted Dallas in the year prior.
Here’s that previous report.
DALLAS, TX – The year of 2020 has been tough for many cities, and Dallas is one of them. Data regarding the number of homicides within the city details that murders have reached a high not seen in 16 years.
Dallas ended the year with 251 murders, including two killings that occurred in the final hour of 2020, according to a departmental spokesman. https://t.co/l3BpKuoRJT
— WFAA (@wfaa) January 2, 2021
When Dallas ushered in the new year, it left behind a troubling 2020 – as there were a recorded 251 murders within the city throughout the year. Which two of the murders reportedly transpired within the last hour of 2020.
Sheldon Smith, who serves as the president of the Dallas chapter of the National Black Police Association, stated the disturbing trends that have been impacting Dallas:
“It’s almost one [murder] every night. They happen downtown, they happen in southern Dallas, North Dallas. They’re occurring all over the place.”
During the last nine days of 2020, the city was seeing more than just an average of one murder a night – as there were a total of 13 homicides that occurred during that span of time.
While Dallas had been impacted by a soaring murder rate in 2020, the DPD’s homicide unit has been hosting an impressive figure in clearance rates of homicide investigations – boasting a 79% rate to date for the year.
There’s divided opinions on what exactly led to such a violent 2020 in Dallas. With so many unique factors attributed to 2020, such as the protests/riots and the adverse effects of the pandemic relating to the economy, naming one specific element as the primary impetus is difficult.
Mike Mata, who serves as the president of the Dallas Police Association, brought a unique perspective regarding how the pandemic may have influenced the types of crimes committed by criminals.
Mata suggested that with how the pandemic affected businesses like bars and restaurants – namely, with many being closed – perhaps criminals that may have normally been pickpockets in those establishments could’ve altered their criminal behavior to entertain crimes like armed robberies elsewhere.
Obviously, the likelihood of an armed robbery evolving into fatal violence is substantially higher than someone engaging in pickpocketing.
But overall, even Mata can’t firmly say what has caused the uptick in homicides in Dallas:
“I think there’s a lot of different ingredients in this rise in crime, but we’ve got to get control of it.”
Another aspect unique to 2020 in Dallas was of course the strings of murders allegedly committed by 31-year-old Jeremy Harris, which his alleged acts were coined as being one akin to that of a serial killer.
The Dallas Police Deputy Chief says that the suspect fits the bill of a "serial killer" – and these cases are absolutely chilling.https://t.co/rGYxPB7DaP
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) November 22, 2020
One of the city’s first murders was that of 28-year-old Dominique White, who was gunned down back in January allegedly by 28-year-old Jimmy Markell Chisolm.
The victim’s mother, Angela, described the impact her son’s death had on his four children. One of Dominique owns daughters said that she wished she could die so that she could be with her dad again, according to Angela:
“I said, ‘What about us?’ She said, ‘Well, I’ll right come right back.’ I say, ‘You won’t be able to come back when you see him.’ She said, ‘I just want to hold him, Nana.’”
A Mother's tears. Will the violence end a generation?
In Jan. my son was shot & died. The issue is it was another young black man. 30 minutes prior my son would see his children the last time. Not knowing this young man would appear out of the blue and take his life.
— Angel L (@Blush89242626) March 13, 2020
Eddie Garcia, who is slated as the incoming police chief, stated that tackling violent crime in Dallas is going to be his top priority:
“I will take a reduction personally…It’s not just the numbers. It’s the perception of crime – both the perception and the numbers have to go in a better direction.”
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