Gangs, rapes, the ransacking of vehicles, and police understaffing contribute to voters’ overwhelming ranking of crime as the single most important issue facing the city as voters prepare to elect a mayor May 12, says a Dallas Morning News poll. About one in three respondents highlighted crime, and no other single issue rivaled it. The strong anti-crime sentiment revealed in the poll aligns with most Dallas mayoral candidates’ priorities as, in some fashion, they promise to bolster the Police Department and aggressively attempt to reduce crime.
Banker and former Mayor Pro Tem Max Wells wants to increase either the sales or property tax and dedicate the revenue directly to crime fighting. Lawyer Darrell Jordan has issued a crime-reduction plan but says he can implement it without raising taxes. City Council member Gary Griffith produced a TV ad discussing “cheese” – an illegal drug made from heroin and Tylenol PM. “Crime is the key to everything else. If you’re going to have economic development or good service delivery, it’s all tied to crime reduction,” said mayoral candidate and City Council member Ed Oakley.