Northeast Police Division  Deputy Chief Andrew Acord

Andrew Acord: Danny Fulgencio

The Dallas Police Department last spring reassigned Deputy Chief Andrew Acord as commander of the Northeast Police Division, which patrols the White Rock area. Before the move, Acord oversaw the Dallas Police Narcotics Division. During his first week at the northeast substation, two major manhunts launched in the White Rock area — one, for the perpetrators of a violent murder of an elderly homeowner in the Dixon Branch area and the other for a serial rapist in the Lake Highlands area. Arrests were relatively quickly made in both cases. Acord shared with us some insights and highlights from his three decades on the force.

The first few weeks

After the immediate chaos settled, it became a joke of sorts because the staff originally had told me that it was a good place to work, that things were relatively routine around here. Not too much action. But the work came fast and didn’t let up for the first month or six weeks or so.

Catching the suspects

In the case of the sexual assailant, we felt confident that he was still in the area. We had some very capable people working the case — several different police divisions — and we had the cooperation of the citizens. There was a sense of urgency, wanting to protect the community from further assault, so there was a confidence there. There was a different dynamic to the homicide case. For one, of course the homicide unit oversaw the investigation, though we did put resources into that investigation.

Social media and police work

Social media is beneficial in two major ways. It allows us to push out information quickly. [Suspects in the Dixon Branch homicide were apprehended following both a social-media based call for information and a YouTube video showing the suspects using the victim’s credit card]. It also allows us to share with the public about various accomplishments of the police department.

The early years

Since high school I knew I wanted to go into law enforcement. I grew up in Houston, attended Sam Houston University and planned to join the Houston Police Department. But then I met my wife. She lived in Richardson. So I followed her here.

Law enforcement because …

I didn’t want to be behind a desk and I wanted to positively impact the community.

Jobs in the DPD

In 33 years I’ve worked patrol in the southeast division, communications, SWAT, which wasn’t called SWAT then but the tactical division — it was before Dallas SWAT was famous — internal affairs, then narcotics.

On the AMC show “Breaking Bad”

I haven’t seen the show, but I’ll check it out. As for the real-life job in narcotics, the office consisted of disrupting and dismantling drug traffic, at all levels. It was challenging work because Dallas is a hub for distribution.

Why so many different positions

It is typical for us to move around from department to department. I think it is so that we are more experienced and well rounded.

On chasing perps

It has been a long time since I’ve been involved in a chase, since I was on patrol, which was back in ’87. The chase wound up at LBJ and Skillman. The suspect got out of the vehicle near there and we chased him on foot. Caught him coming out of a manhole cover behind Tom Thumb.

On handling northeast Dallas’ high-crime hotspots

This is a large and diverse area. Larger than most surrounding suburbs — it’s an 86-square-mile area with a population of 286,000.

With several multifamily properties it presents more challenging crime areas, but this is an exceptional police division here. This area also has, I believe, more active crime watch and homeowners groups working with police than any other. We are initiating programs with cooperative apartment managers and residents to combat and prevent crime by forming crime watch groups within those communities.

Acord’s statements were edited for brevity.

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