Thanks to John Forest and Gary Griffith we had Dallas's new Chief of Police Eddie Garcia as our speaker on February 24th. Chief Garcia comes from San Jose, California where he served in the police department for 29 years, rising to its chief for the past 5 years.
His goal is to remove dangerous criminals from the community while making all neighborhoods safer places to live. The slogan "weed and seed" describes the concept. He firmly believes that communities of color want greater protection from the police which includes confronting mental health issues as well as homelessness.
Chief Garcia recognizes that safe neighborhoods require that poverty, under employment and education deficiencies be addressed as well as removing criminals. He intends to disrupt illegal conduct by reducing drug violations, but also in holding absentee landlords accountable for crimes committed on their premises.
He seeks to cooperate with DISD, the DA's office and federal law enforcement in making high crime areas safer places in which to live. He also is anxious to raise the morale of the rank and file officers serving in the Dallas Police Department. With his 29 years of police service starting as a patrol officer he has the experience to empathize with his force. He encouraged us to express our thanks when we interact with officers in a positive way. The enthusiasm with which he spoke bodes well for better days ahead for the Dallas Police Department.