Overall violent crime in Dallas — as of the end of January — is down by almost 30% over last year. That’s according to a briefing by Dallas Police Department officials during Monday’s Public Safety committee meeting.
The reductions come after the city has struggled to lower the murder rate. During a public safety briefing late last year, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said while some areas of crime were down, that wasn’t the case across the board.
“We’ve had our challenges,” Garcia said during the meeting. “Particularly with murder being higher than it was last year.”
But the start of 2024 has been different. The city’s murder rate is down about 17% and some categories of violent crime saw even larger reductions.
“Basically, we did not want to see another January like what we had last year,” Violent Crime Planning Unit Major Jason Scoggins said during Monday’s meeting. “So that is also down 33.65%.”
Although the overall crime rate is down — Dallas officials say there is one outlier. Business robberies increased more than 60% over last year.
“41% of those offenses start of as a theft…the other 59% can be attributed to about three different groups of serial robbers that have been hitting different parts of Dallas,” Scoggins said.
But public safety officials say that only equates to around 16 robberies in total. And Garcia says they aren’t like the 1995 heist movie ‘Heat’ either — but rather simple petty thefts that basically took a bad turn.
Garcia also says in years past there has been a spike in crime right around this time — but that has also changed this year.
“A point of emphasis going into this year was to really not have that spike so that we’re not chasing ourselves throughout the rest of the year, as we have done,” Garcia said.
Moving forward Garcia says its important to have communication with landlords to make sure there is adequate cooperation to investigate crimes in apartment complexes. Garcia said during the meeting in the past there has been “pushback” from landlords.
“Of the murders we have had this year, at least half of them have all occurred at an apartment complex,” Garcia said. “Certainly, there’s more that we have to do.”
Overall council members seemed pleased with the direction the crime numbers are heading since the start of the year.
“I do agree, the headline here is an almost 30% reduction in violent crime and we cannot lose sight of that,” District 13 Council Member Gay Donnell Willis said during the meeting.
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