Chief Brown's Increasingly Hollow Response to DPD's Glaring Problems

Categories: City Hall, Crime

Chief David Brown
On Sunday, the Morning News' Tanya Eiserer took a lengthy peek at DPD staffing trends; what she found can best be described as alarming.

Over the past two years, the number of detectives assigned to work the city's most pressing crimes has plummeted by 46 percent. The number of homicide detectives has dropped from 26 to 15 during that time frame; for sex crimes, the reduction was from seven to four; and the robbery unit was cut by nearly two-thirds, from 26 detectives to just 10.

Predictably, DPD Chief David Brown defended the cuts by playing the crime-has-fallen-for-11-straight-years card, as he has been known to do.

"It's just so dramatic... just half the murders that we used to work," Brown told the paper last week. "The last nine years there's been a dramatic drop in aggravated assaults, in sexual assaults. It's fallen off the cliff. To say we don't have staffing is just the opposite of what we're seeing."

That line of reasoning would make sense if the staffing cuts were commensurate with the reduction in crime, but they're not. Since 2010, violent crime has declined by just 10.5 percent, at a quarter of the pace of staff reduction. That means that detectives are working many more cases at a pace that current and former detectives tell the News is unsustainable.

Inevitably, it results in cases like the one Eiserer leads her story with, about Oak Cliff convenience store owner Cristobal DeLeon. He IDed the robber as 19-year-old Cruz Alcala, but it took several weeks for him to be interviewed by detectives, and his case was later suspended because the robbery unit didn't have a Spanish-speaking detective. In the meantime, Alcala allegedly kidnapped and raped a woman.

Brown's other explanation is that the staffing reductions are part of the department's strategic decision "to focus our staffing model on visibility in Dallas neighborhoods. Our staffing model decisions require investigative efficiency -- doing more with less," as he told the News in an email.

That's closer to the truth. Laudable as the decade-long drop in crime has been, the numbers don't justify the wholesale evisceration of DPD's detective force. Neither does an increased focus on crime prevention. That strategy may be a smart one, but it shouldn't be done at the expense of solving crimes that do occur. That is, after all, one of the police department's primary responsibilities.

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observist topcommenter

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It's amusing that Mr. Alcala's arrest record indicates he is in the country illegally. How many stories have we seen in just the past two weeks concerning serious crimes committed by people who should not even be here? Surprisingly, allowing lawless behavior seems to lead to, well, lawless behavior. I wonder if I could get a grant to research this perplexing relationship?


"doing more with less"


With all of the over the top, done to the height of  excess SHIT we have in this city and the the Chief of Police comes up with "DOING MORE WITH LESS ?"





Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

And yet, with so much area to patrol, with so few officers, we see lines of police cars parked outside restaurants and hotels downtown, where the cops are having leisurely freebee lunches.


Reading the article, I could just imagine puppet Chief Brown sitting on Mary Suhm's big fat lap while she pulled his strings to talk. And you could still see her lips moving. DMN should have interviewed her since she is the one to control the bugets, not Brown. He like the Mayor, and everyone else at City Hall are at her bidding.

Montemalone topcommenter

 @rubbercow I suggest since they want to be here we grant them permanent residence in a cell with a few of their fellow criminals.



 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Is there hard fast confirmation that cop uniform equals freebie lunch?  I've heard of this numerous times, but friends who work in both the service and LE industries have poo-pooed it as urban myth or, "I don't get/offer that benefit." 


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz that's funny. I have seen many,many times in Oak Cliff police officers have to get and respond to a call right as they are sitting down for the leisurely freebee lunches. I guess it is too much to ask that these people who literally run the risk of being killed on the job should be able to relax while they eat their lunches. What will they want next? Bulletproof vests?


@Montemalone I'd be ok with that. Better yet, how about we just start enforcing our laws?


@rubbercow Borders are so racist!!! Allowing violent illegal aliens free reign in our country is just one small progressive step towards dismantling our "Unearned White Privilege" dontcha know.

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