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Dallas police chief speaks on accomplishments, department’s new uses of tech after tenure extension

“We can’t hold on to these jobs forever,” Chief Eddie Garcia said. “I love what I do. It’s incredibly difficult. It is a grind, a 24/7 grind, but you only do that because you really want to”

By Joanna Putman

DALLAS — Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, who assumed his role in 2021 with clear objectives, will remain with the Dallas Police Department for at least the next three years, CBS Texas reported.

Garcia, who previously served as chief of the San Jose Police Department in California, outlined four main goals when he was named chief in Dallas: reduce violent crime, increase department morale, build community trust and prepare an internal successor, according to the report.

“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to have a transition by then,” Garcia told CBS Texas, expressing confidence in the internal candidates who could follow in his footsteps.

According to the latest National Incident-Based Reporting System data, as of June 2, 2024, aggravated assaults have dropped by 22.36% year-to-date and murders have decreased by 26.05% year-to-date. Garcia attributes this progress to strong relationships within the department and city leadership, according to the report.

“You don’t necessarily have a relationship where the associations are in line with their command staff,” he said. “We have that here... It comes down to hard work.”

During his interview with CBS Texas, Garcia touched on the staffing issues the DPD face. The department has 3,071 sworn officers, 170 short of its budgeted number, according to the report. Garcia emphasized the need for more officers to alleviate the burden on the current staff, who frequently work overtime and miss personal events to meet the demands of the job.

New technologies are also being integrated into the department’s operations with the hope that they will help address staffing issues, according to the report. The Public Safety Committee recently approved Clearview AI, a facial recognition platform aimed at accelerating suspect identification. Garcia assured critics that the technology would be used reactively, not proactively, to prevent misuse.

“We can’t hold on to these jobs forever,” Garcia said. “I love what I do. It’s incredibly difficult. It is a grind, a 24/7 grind, but you only do that because you really want to. At the same time, there needs to be a transition period so that the next leader of the department comes through.”