DALLAS — For the first time in more than five years, Dallas police say violent crime is trending down.
“We've made great strides in saving lives and we want to continue to do that,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said Monday.
Garcia implemented a new crime plan 90 days ago targeting 47 grids where the majority of violent crime is occurring. He says the department is seeing results.
"Obviously it’s early in the game right now, but we are pleased with what we are seeing with the reduction of violent incidents occurring in our city,” Garcia said.
He presented the crime numbers to the public safety committee on Monday.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers.
If you compare May through June of 2020 to the same time this year, violent crime has dropped almost 7 percent.
Murders are down 24 percent, robberies are down 11 percent and aggravated assaults overall, including family violence, are down almost 4 percent.
“At the beginning of the crime plan we were up 19 murders and as of the date of the report we were down two,” Garcia said.
Rene Martinez is a long time Dallas resident who says he feels safer.
"What it's telling me is that the force is out in those critical areas making arrests with guns and drugs. Crime is flat or going down in every category, so it's looking good,” Martinez said.
Garcia began working with criminologists in December before being sworn in to come up with the science- and data-driven plan, but says its success hinges on community support and the work of his officers.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata agrees.
He says morale is up, so officers are more proactive.
“Police officers need to feel they are supported when they are doing the right thing by their command staff and the chief and that's what they are doing and you are looking at the results,” Mata said.
And more help is on the way. The new city budget will add 250 more officers, 50 squad cars and double the overtime budget to $34 million.
“That’s an incredible sign and it makes our officers feel appreciated,” Garcia said.
“It sends a positive message to the officers when they get this kind of support,” Mata said.
Garcia says there is still a long way to go but he sees hope.