Drug crimes are ticking up this year amid a police shortage that has been plaguing Dallas for some time now.
According to the Dallas Police Department’s crime analytics dashboard, 9,287 drug offenses have been committed within the city limits as of November 28, a 3.7% bump over the criminal activity logged during the same period last year.
The department has been having issues in its efforts to get crime under control with a force numbering fewer than 3,200 officers. A City analysis previously advised Dallas needs roughly 4,000 officers on the streets, suggesting the figure was likely necessary to “respond to emergency 911 calls within the goal of 8 minutes.”
Drug offenses are divided into two categories in the City data: drug/narcotics violations and drug equipment violations. The former is relatively consistent with the figures from last year, marking a 0.5% uptick. The latter, however, saw an increase of 29.8%.
City Council Districts 2 and 6 — represented by Council Members Jesse Moreno and Omar Narvaez, respectively — have documented the most drug offenses year to date.
District 6 logged 1,514 in total, while District 2 logged 1,310. The council district with the third-highest number of drug crimes recorded was Council Member Carolyn King Arnold’s District 4, with 1,014 offenses documented this year.
For its part, Downtown Dallas has seen a skyrocketing increase in drug activity, with DPD’s Sector 130 — which comprises Historic Downtown and Victory Park — seeing a 40.8% spike year over year.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Downtown Dallas has been especially affected by the police shortage, logging considerably more criminal activity than Fort Worth’s downtown area. Fort Worth’s city center is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit that works alongside private security guards.
The council members whose districts were home to the highest levels of drug activity could not immediately be reached for comment.
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.