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City of Dallas announces summer programs for kids, teens in hopes of keeping them safe and reducing crime

City officials touted violent crime stats for the last two years, saying their summer youth program and the city's crime plan helped drive down crime.

DALLAS — The city of Dallas announced its summer safety program on Tuesday.

"This year the summer of safety is to promote safety of our cities most valuable assets which is our kids," said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

The mayor touted last year’s summer crime stats, saying programs like these help reduce crime by keeping kids and teens busy.

“Last summer we lowered violent crime in June and July which is an incredible feat, considering violent crime increases during the summer months,” said Johnson.

But this year the Dallas Police Department is going into the summer months hampered by a ransomware attack that hit all city computers, even those in the library where Tuesday's news conference was held. 

DPD’s crime plan is data driven. Officers are moved to crime grids depending on where crime is happening.

“I don’t have the data on a daily basis, so yes to be honest, [the ransomware attack is] problematic. It's severely impacting for what we are planning to do so we are going on historical data,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.

While most of the computers are back up and running in squad cars, the rest of the department is still down and weeks behind.

“Not to mention that when we do have to go back online, there’s going to be a backlog of information that has to be imputed,” Garcia said.

But the mayor and police chief hope the city can hold the line. 

DPD said going into May, overall violent crime was down 10%, including aggravated assaults.

"But the true definition of city safety is with agg assault gun violence, and we are seeing that drop dramatically this year," Garcia said.

The city, along with DPD and Dallas ISD, said they plan on offering hundreds of free programs from music classes to athletic programs in hopes of keeping kids and teenagers out of trouble.

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