Friday, March 16, 2007

McClelland Targets Dallas Crime

Year in and year out, crime remains a concern for citizens of large cities. Dallas is no exception. In a recent poll, crime topped the list of issues.

As voters prepare to elect a new mayor on May 12, these factors contribute to Dallasites' overwhelming ranking of crime as the single most important issue facing the city, according to a Dallas Morning News poll.

About one in three respondents highlighted crime, and no other single issue rivaled it.

As a candidate for Dallas City Council in District 12, John McClelland knows these issues first-hand.

The City of Dallas remains at the top of the crime food chain in Texas, and even the nation. 8,624 crimes per 100,000 people. That is the nation's worst crime rate. Dallas has held the top spot for 9 of the last 10 years. Is this something Dallas should be proud of? I don't think so.

One would tend to think that the crime problem only affects the areas of blight in Dallas or lower income areas. That is one of the biggest misconceptions. In District 12, which is Far North Dallas (majority caucasion, majority conservative, with a decent median income), there were 3900 crimes in 2006. That is over 10 per day. Dallas SWAT has been in my parking lot in the last couple months. I even had checks stolen off my dining room table by my apartment complex's own maintenance people this past week.

In McClelland's view, the continuing crime wave highlights a need for more officers and better pay.

We need more police. We need to pay more to the ones we have. Dallas needs to have at least 3 1/2 officers per 1000 people. We currently stand at under 2 1/2. That means we need to hire at least 800 more officers in the city, if you go by mayoral candidate Darryl Jordan's numbers.

Of course, more police protection comes with a price tag, and McClelland thinks financing a solution is a matter of smarter policies, not higher taxes.

“It is a simple matter of common sense and fiscal responsibility. We have projects that were intended to create parks and marinas, and instead we end up with toll roads that approach $1 billion in price,” McClelland pointed out. “If we reign in the wasteful spending the current Council has seen fit to let happen, then we would have the money to give our hard working police a deserved raise in pay, as well as offer more incentive to attract new officers. We may not have to hit taxpayers in the pocketbook to achieve our goals.”

To learn more about McClelland's positions, or to donate to his campaign, visit his website.

[Disclaimer: I volunteer for the McClelland campaign. Join me.]

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