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Dallas police chief cites long-term downward trend in city crime

"We will continue to move those trend lines in the same direction that we saw today and that is our ultimate goal," said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department said year-over-year comparisons in major crime categories in Dallas show increases in violent crime. But in a monthly presentation to the Dallas Public Safety Committee, the police chief said their long-term efforts are showing results.

A shooting early Monday morning at the Summerwood Cove Apartments near Lake Highlands highlights a common challenge for Dallas police, Chief Eddie Garcia said. 

One incident, but with two victims -- one man with multiple gunshot wounds deceased, a teenager also shot and transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

"Yesterday we had one incident, one shooting, however there were 15 people in the house," Garcia told members of the Dallas City Council at their monthly Public Safety Committee meeting. Incidents in total appear on a downward trend, but those incidents often have more than one victim.

In an update to its Violent Crime Reduction Plan, DPD reports an overall violent crime increase of 6.63% in a comparison of 2022 vs. 2023, a murder increase of 13.89% and a total aggravated assault increase of 13.55%. 

But the same data shows a 13.71% decrease in total robberies. 

And, when compared to January 2021 when DPD began collecting the data, Garcia said both victim counts and the number of incidents have shown a consistent downward trend.

"And the trend lines continue to go down," Garcia said. "It's a journey that we started over two years ago. And we will continue to move those trend lines in the same direction that we saw today and that is our ultimate goal."

DPD reports the results of its "integrated public safety solutions" every month, focusing on specific grids that are recognized violent crime hot spots. 

DPD leadership continues to tell city leaders that adding more officers to the force would make an additional impact. Comments by city council member Adam McGough, discussing the available officers for Dallas' public parks and trail system, focused exactly on that.

"We're not giving them enough resources," McGough said. "We don't have enough marshals. We don't have enough rangers. Not anywhere close."

But with discussions continuing to increase the number of officers, DPD hopes crime in Dallas continues a long-term steady decline.

"This is a complete body of work. There is a trend line," Garcia added. "These men and women are sacrificing every day. They are doing more with what they have than I think most any other department is doing. We're very proud of their work."

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