City Councilman Jesse Moreno of District 2 has seen year-over-year increases in crime for August, September, October, and November, standing out among most of his colleagues who have not seen similar sustained hikes in their districts.
Motor Vehicle Thefts in District 2 saw the most significant uptick compared to November 2021 and outpaced every other district in the city last month.
Auto thefts and other vehicle-related crimes have skyrocketed in Dallas over the past few years, as reported in The Dallas Express. However, an increase in drug offenses played no small role in pumping up Moreno’s Crime Score in November.
District 2 saw an increase of 33% in reported drug crime incidents compared to November 2021, which has caused the total number of drug offenses in Moreno’s jurisdiction in 2022 to overtake the previous year’s, according to the crime analytics dashboard published by the City of Dallas.
Last Monday, Dallas Police Department (DPD) briefed the city council’s Committee on Public Safety, of which Jesse Moreno is a sitting member. DPD explained that it identified 51 “accidental deaths” between the beginning of the year and the end of October in which controlled substances were the cause or a significant contributing factor to the incident.
Quite alarmingly, according to the briefing, the share of overdose deaths involving fentanyl spiked compared to last year. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths made up 33% of drug overdoses last year. As of October 31, 2022, with two months left of that data to go, fentanyl-related overdose deaths currently make up 45% of 2022’s running total of overdose deaths.
“We look at it like a pandemic,” said DPD Chief Eddie Garcia at the meeting.
Major Devon Palk told the Committee on Public Safety that most fentanyl the police encounter is mixed in with other illegal drugs, often unbeknownst to the user.
Palk’s assertion about fentanyl lacing appears to bear out in the City’s downloadable data set, with no identified isolated fentanyl possession being recorded in District 2. Instead, the data shows dozens of incidents of possession and attempted distribution of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and oxycodone.
Reported drug incidents this year within Dallas city limits, as of December 18, currently stand at 9,424.
While it is unclear the degree to which drug sales in District 2 contributed to city-wide overdose figures, the city council previously discussed adopting an overdose heat map similar to its crime analytics dashboard, which would track response calls to overdoses and hopefully give law enforcement a better picture of hotspots where potentially lethal batches of drugs are being sold.
The city council opted back in September not to pursue the program without first hearing from Dallas County Health and Human Services.
With Districts 2, 4, and 6 accounting for the bulk of drug offenses in November, it would have been interesting to see exactly what parts of the city serve as ground zero for the distribution of illicit narcotics.
The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the city, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible to you. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to data from the FBI’s UCR database.