Irving Police Department’s (IPD) outreach programs credited for decline. IPD has announced that violent crime and property crime together dropped 6.35 percent in 2018, marking the city’s lowest crime rate since 2005.
“Our Police Department is one of the best in the country,” said Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer. “Irving officers are true professionals who work every day to ensure our safety.”
Chief of Police Jeff Spivey attributes the decline to good policing and a focus on neighborhood outreach.
“The Irving Police Department has worked hard to know our community,” Spivey said. “We have established a number of programs that allow us to interact on a friendly basis with our residents, and that interaction fosters trust. Where there’s trust, there’s communication, and communication is key to thwarting crime.”
The department has a number of established outreach programs and recently launched a new one: the Mental Health Intervention Team. This program is designed to better understand mental health conditions, provide officers de-escalation tools during crises, and employ health care assistance as an alternative to incarceration. The IPD is the first department in Texas to build a specific team to address mental health.
“I’m extremely proud of this program,” Spivey said. “Mental health is a significant national issue that remains hidden. Our department faces these issues every day, and we want to start talking about it.”
As an additional crime reduction measure, Irving police also recently added Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The specialized drones help officers during high-risk situations, such as apprehending fleeing suspects and armed suspects, search and rescue missions, and disaster response. Officers completed in-depth training required to operate the drones.
Regarding outreach, Coffee with a Cop offers residents an opportunity to talk to officers over breakfast. The casual meetings allow for relationship building and shared information.
The Irving Police Athletic League (IPAL) is a nonprofit organization that volunteer police officers and residents operate. IPAL helps at-risk children develop self-esteem through sports and interaction with positive role models. IPAL also provides an Urban Outdoors program where police and volunteers introduce the youth to outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking and mountain biking.
Irving police also regularly lend a hand in Irving’s fundraising events, including Special Olympics, Blue Christmas and Make-A-Wish.