Homicides in Dallas are on course to hit a 10-year high by the year’s end, sparking a demand by Mayor Eric Johnson for a plan to cut violent offenses.
The Dallas Morning News reported Mayor Eric Johnson wrote a letter to City Manager T.C Broadnax highlighting the stark rise in violent crime in the Dallas city and demanding action. He called for the police department to work “more aggressively and transparently.”
The Morning News reports Dallas has recorded 194 homicides this year. The city is on track for the highest homicide rate in a decade. Assaults with guns are up about 27 percent compared to 2018 and robberies rose 15 percent, according to the Dallas Police Department crime dashboard.
The mayor’s comments add the pressure on Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall:
In the letter, Johnson said the Dallas City Council “cannot continue to accept the status quo or tolerate excuses” over violent crime. The letter contained a tight deadline for Hall to present a crime reduction strategy by the end of the year and to brief the city’s Public Safety Committee in January.
The latter stated:
“I do not believe the City Council has received a sufficiently clear explanation of what is driving this increase or what the police department’s specific plan is to reverse it.”
Hall has defended the controversial deployment of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in the city in 2019.
Some members of the public claimed the troopers appeared to be more interested in traffic stops than curtailing violent crime.
The troopers made thousands of traffic stops and seized 70 illegal guns, in south Dallas. They arrested more than 400 people and said overall violent crime in the area dropped 29 percent.
However, murders and robberies remained up more than 30 percent from the year before.
The spike in homicides in Dallas comes as the violent crime rate in other Texas cities Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi falls.
Earlier this year, an editorial in the Dallas Morning News blamed understaffing at the police department, in particular, the homicide unit, on rocketing levels of violent crime in the city. The Dallas Police Department has struggled to retain officers.
Texas’ harsh punishments for people accused of murder have failed to stem the tide of killings in Dallas. The state executes more prisoners convicted of capital murder than any other. If you or a member of your family has been accused of a violent crime please schedule an appointment with our Dallas defense team at (214) 720-9552.