Rapidly increasing instances of violent crime, especially murder and domestic violence, caused Dallas Police Chief David Brown to make sweeping temporary changes across the department this week.
Overall violent crime is up nearly 30 percent in the first two months of 2016, compared to the same period of 2015. Between Jan. 1 and March 28, the murder rate nearly doubled, with 41 homicides reported in that time, compared to 22 in the same period 2015.
In Preston Hollow, the “crime rate is as low as anywhere in North Texas,” Brown told City Council this week.
Even though crime in City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates’ District 13 is up about 14 percent, the crime rate is still very low, Brown says.
Brown pointed to our lack of winter as one cause of increasing violence in Dallas. Crime statistically increases in the summer months.
Warm weather all winter “is causing summertime-like crimes,” he says. And that calls for aggressive actions from DPD, he says.
Brown is calling for 600 officers to be moved to the night shift. About 700 officers will be asked to rotate to foot patrol. Special forces will be set up to target violent crime, including domestic violence. WFAA reports that the city’s sex-offender force is being shut down temporarily.
This move is going to be inconvenient for police officers, Brown admitted. The police unions are unhappy about it, and some have called for him to resign.
Brown noted that violent crime against officers also is increasing.
A 36-year-old man pointed a shotgun at a cop in South Oak Cliff Sunday night, and the officer shot at the man, but no one was injured.
Also Sunday, two men were killed in separate drug-related incidents in Lake Highlands.
“Last night was just a microcosm of what we’ve seen all year,” Brown told City Council Monday. “Two 22-year-old kids killing each other over drugs.”