About Safer Dallas
Safer Dallas Better Dallas began its formal efforts in the summer of 2005 after nearly a year of research and meetings with hundreds of Dallas leaders by its founders, Jack Hammack and Charles Terrell. Over 75 Dallas business and community leaders chose to join the new organization’s Steering Committee to show their support for Dallas police. This was during a time of high crime rates in our city. With the support of the newly formed Steering Committee and foundations across the city, Safer Dallas Better Dallas became true partners with the Dallas Police Department and helped fund basic needs that protected police officers and helped reduce crime. We are proud to be Partners for Public Safety to this day.
"Public trust is essential to public safety. It is up to us as citizens to support and trust each other to build a safer Dallas together."
Courtney Underwood, Chairman, Safer Dallas Better Dallas
The mission of Safer Dallas Better Dallas is to protect our citizens from becoming victims of crime
and to engage them in a partnership with Dallas Police, to support the efforts of our Dallas police officers,
and to make Dallas America’s safest big city.
Understanding Key Issues
New data show the city’s population grew by about 9,200 over the past decade to about 1,197,800 residents in the 2010 U.S. census, and the city has 734 more officers than in 2000.
In 2012, Chief Brown identified 27 zones in the city where people are most likely to be victimized by crime. These 27 areas make up just 6 percent of the city’s area but account for over 36 percent of its crime. Safer Dallas Better Dallas is committed to supporting Chief David Brown’s goal to equip DPD with the necessary tools to attack crime in these concentrated areas. Equipping the TAAG areas with the leading technology will result in an overall city-wide crime reduction and, more specifically:
Reduction in residential burglaries and thefts
Reduction in business burglaries and thefts
Reduction of motor vehicle burglaries
Reduction of motor vehicle thefts
Provide investigative leads to solve crimes
“Additional officers are the key to the crime rate going down,” said Charles Terrell, head of Safer Dallas Better Dallas and former head of the mayoral task force that set the goal for three officers per thousand in the late 1980s. “We’ll be a much safer city and the citizens will be much safer” if the city can stay within throwing distance of the three-officers-per-thousand goal", he said. Safer Dallas Better Dallas has worked with the Dallas City Council to assure the budget for public safety provides adequate funding to meet the three-officers-per-thousand goal.
Dallas saw an overall crime in the city reduction of 4.1 percent in 2011. Violent crime dropped 8.8 percent, and property crime dropped 3.5 percent. Homicides have reached a 44-year low. Total crime from 2003 to 2011 was down 38.9 percent. Police Chief David Brown says the beefed-up police staffing made a significant difference in the department’s crime-fighting efforts.
“I think that boots on the ground, along with other strategies, technologies, and our ability to engage neighborhoods, have been the most significant things we’ve done to reduce crime,” Chief Garcia said.
Safer Dallas was formed to make our community safer by supporting local law enforcement and building a strong relationship between Dallas police and local citizens. Safer Dallas began its formal efforts in the summer of 2005 after founders Jack Hammack and Charles Terrell spent nearly a year researching and meeting with hundreds of Dallas leaders. The response was tremendous; over 75 business and community leaders chose to join the Safer Dallas Steering Committee in a show of support for Dallas police.
Whether it’s funding digital cameras to cover strategic areas of downtown Dallas, meeting equipment needs in the Dallas Police Department, or funding the first city police department smartphone app, Safer Dallas has spent more than a decade working to make the city of Dallas America’s safest big city.
Safer Dallas is a proactive organization that uses strategic initiatives to protect citizens and create support for the efforts of local law enforcement. To accomplish these goals, money is raised from Dallas foundations, businesses, and citizens to purchase equipment for Dallas police officers, help fund DPD priorities, and educate elected leaders on policy initiatives that will help reduce the crime rate. To date, over $21 million has been raised. Because of Safer Dallas:
The City of Dallas Community Prosecutors received a donation of $30,000 in 2014 for equipment and items not provided for in the city budget.
Dallas police officers received funds for several hundred AR 15 assault rifles through the generosity and leadership of a local businessman, the Rotary Club of Dallas, and individual citizens.
The Dallas Police Department received a $15 million grant from the Caruth Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. The first $5 million purchased equipment for the Dallas Police Department such as camera technology, barriers for the back seats of police cars, and cell phones for the investigators. The remaining $10 million of the grant was used to establish the Caruth Police Institute in a collaborative effort with the University of North Texas at Dallas.
The Dallas Police Department received a donation of $20,000 for body cameras.
An Animal Cruelty Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office was created after $200,000 was raised.
In 2013, Safer Dallas raised $650,000 for crime-fighting technology for five targeted high crime areas. A significant part of these funds came from Texas Instruments and 7-11. In addition, Safer Dallas has raised over $1,000,000 for elevated security cameras throughout Dallas.
More recently, 2016 saw the launch of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to fund the construction of the new Reality Based Training Center for the Dallas Police Department. This training center will equip police with the resources they need to respond appropriately to various scenarios.
Safer Dallas sponsored the “Let’s Talk” Youth Outreach Initiative for the DPD, as well as the “Support Our Police Officers” initiative in Northeast Dallas. In 2016, Safer Dallas launched the “Thank a Cop” campaign.