DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department has responded to 26 homicides since May 1.
That’s 26 homicides in only 22 days.
“There’s got to be an end to this,” said Sgt. Sheldon H. Smith, president of the National Black Police Association.
The homicides spanned different neighborhoods across the city.
The most recent one happened Tuesday shortly after 9 p.m. at the Mockingbird Flats Apartments when a man shot and killed another man during a botched robbery attempt.
“At the same time for the whole month of May last year, we were at 15 [homicides] total,” Smith said.
To make matters worse, the Dallas Police Department is understaffed, with only 13 detectives in their homicide unit.
“Our homicide unit is overworked, without a doubt. They’re putting in a lot of hours,” Smith said. “There’s been almost a murder a night, sometimes two.”
“We have to get ahead of this curve because summer’s coming and if we don’t do something right now, those numbers are going to rise,” Antong Lucky said.
Lucky is the director of Invasion of Urban Specialists, a location organization that’s trying something new this year.
“I think it’s hot [outside]. I think people get to congregate, and when you bring more people into a space and it’s hot, temperatures get to flaring,” Lucky said.
Lucky says they’re taking people from within the community and training them to be advocates of peace.
“Our motto is finding people in those neighborhoods who are closer to the violence, who can step in and prevent the violence,” said Lucky.
Right now, Urban Specialists has already trained 35 men and women, who are going out into communities across the city. They’ve also already started training a second group of people.
“We’re using them to say, ‘We need you to help us stop the violence this summer. Let’s use you to be on the front lines to stop this violence,’” said Lucky.