The Dallas Police Department reasserted Monday that its plan to target violent crime - which they said is on the rise earlier this year - is working, and that they have successfully reversed the trend.
The Dallas Police Department shared data during its Public Safety Committee meeting with updates on the department’s violent crime reduction plan, put into place earlier this year.
Violent crime - including murders, robbery and aggravated assaults - has been reduced this year in Dallas compared to 2020, Dallas police leaders said. There have also been 978 fewer victims of violent crimes so far this year compared to 2020.
Chief Eddie Garcia said he was looking forward to the next steps in the crime safety plan and said the "community has been fantastic."
City council members offered praise during the meeting, saying the crime trends and the trust within the community are going in the right direction.
The department said its strategy to reduce violent crime involved targeting "high-crime hotspots." Violent crime in Dallas, like in most cities, is geographically concentrated in a relatively small number of areas within the city, according to the outline of the plan that was presented in May.
Back then, the department divided those hotspots into a grid and focused police resources there. Officials said that tactic made an impact. In those concentrated areas, there were fewer violent crimes reported for the period from Sept. 3 to Nov. 30 this year compared to 2020 for the same period, Maj. Paul Junger said in his presentation of the crime data.
Junger said overall violence in these concentrated areas has been reduced by 44%. Overall crime in the city is down this year by 3.59% and overall violent crime is down 8.47%, which equates to 978 fewer victims compared to 2020. Family violence was reduced by more than 50% compared to last year.
Family violence sex-related offenses are up this year from 199 in 2020 to 360 in 2021, but the department said that that statistic actually shows that those crimes are being reported.
The department also said there were fewer arrests this year and fewer excessive force complaints, down 37% compared to last year.
“Prevention of violent crime is DPD’s top priority. Violent crime erodes the public perception of safety within our city,” Junger said.
Violent crime victims by crime type:
The data below shows the number of victims broken down by crime type from Sept. 3 to Nov. 30, 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020:
- Robbery – business: 3 (2020), 3 (2021)
- Murder & non negligent manslaughter: 0 (2020), 1 (2021)
- Aggravated assault – family violence: 24 (2020), 9 (2021)
- Robbery – individual: 27 (2020), 19 (2021)
- Aggravated assault – non-family-violence: 90 (2020), 49 (2021)
- Total: 144 victims (2020), 81 (2021)
So far this year, there have been 201 victims of homicide, compared to 229 in 2020.
On May 7, murder was up 19 victims compared to that same point in 2020, the department said. But once the crime reduction plan was introduced, the number of murders fell, police said. As of Nov. 30, murder is down 28 victims compared to 2020.
The motive for most murders is in the “unknown circumstances” category (99), followed by argument/conflict (62) and other classifications (32).
The most common location for murders is apartments (58), then street, highway or alley (47) and commercial stores (31).
There have been 2,246 victims of robbery so far in 2021 compared to 3,165 in 2020, according to police data.
The department claimed to have reversed the robbery trend and reduced the number of robbery victims by 547 since the inception of the crime plan. Police said there was also a reduction in firearms used, firearms discharged and injuries from a firearm.
A majority of robbery victims were carjackings (395), shoplifting (84), and social media robberies (67). Most robberies happened at apartments, on the street/highway, or in commercial stores.
There have been 250 fewer aggravated assault victims since the start of the crime plan, police said.
Most aggravated assault victims were related to an argument (2,679) followed by unknown circumstances (2,384) and other circumstances (1,916). Most happened in apartments (2,275), a single residence (1,680) and a highway/street (1,613).
Junger said police are following up with those offenders involved to prevent future incidents.
ARRESTS, SEIZED WEAPONS, and SEIZED DRUGS
The department said that there have been more drug and gun seizures in 2021 compared to last year, which they said led to fewer arrests in 2021 compared to 2020.
“We are reversing the trend in crime... reducing the arrests we are making," Junger said. "This data confirms that our officers are taking the right people off the streets.”
Family violence sex-related offenses are up this year, but the department says that is because people are more willing to come forward to report the crime.
Females under the age of 19 are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse by a family member or known person, Junger said.
“I think our awareness campaigns and educational programs are working. Because of our efforts, we are increasing trust in our community," Junger said. "That trust is allowing our victims of these crimes to report them."
The department started their targeted domestic violence home visits this month, Junger said. The visits include a caseworker from The Family Place. They interact with high-risk victims of family domestic violence to provide safety and independence from their offenders.
The department highlighted the next steps, which include the Place Network Investigations team and board. The department also said that UTSA is evaluating the effectiveness of the grids in place.
The department is also looking at focused deterrence of crime, which includes multiple law enforcement agencies and community partners.
The department also highlighted ways that the department amplified trust through community events, such as a community barbecue and 10 turkey giveaways.