Violent Crime Skyrockets in SW Dallas on Gracey’s Watch

crime boss
Dallas Council Member Zarin D. Gracey | Image by City of Dallas

Council Member Zarin D. Gracey has been named June’s Crime Boss after his council district logged the largest crime increase in May.

The Crime Score for Gracey’s District 3 in May 2024 rose by 19.6% year over year. Districts 1 and 2 — represented by Council Members Chad West and Jesse Moreno, respectively — saw more modest Crime Score rises of 0.77% and 0.66%. West, who was named Crime Boss several times this year, was thus second in Crime Boss this month, while Moreno came in third.

Comprised of southwestern Dallas, Gracey’s District 3 begins south of State Highway 180 and stretches west just beyond FM 1382 and east to include Redbird and parts of Oak Cliff.

According to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard, four of the 18 murders occurring in Dallas in May took place in District 3. There was also one case of negligent manslaughter.

District 3 saw the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Oliver Bradley on May 12, with Dallas police arresting 39-year-old Brian Bennett a few days later after he was allegedly identified on surveillance footage near the murder. On May 15, roughly 10 minutes away in West Oak Cliff, another man, 32-year-old Cesar Avalos, was murdered outside a business. Detectives have not yet identified a suspect.

Although motor vehicle theft was the most prevalent crime in District 3 in May, it saw just a slight year-over-year increase of 5.7% compared to violent crime, the rate of which ballooned by 36.7%. A total of 67 offenses were logged, which breaks down to an average of two a day that month.

The main driver for this surge was aggravated assaults, with District 3 seeing 47 reports in May 2024 compared to 35 in May 2023 — an uptick of 34.3%. A total of 17 were categorized as “family violence crimes.”

The Dallas Police Department has been waging a campaign against violent crime in Dallas. However, these efforts are hindered by a shortage of about 1,000 officers. A City of Dallas report previously recommended a force of 4,000 officers to ensure public safety and keep police response times down. DPD currently fields only around 3,000 officers.

Making up for this gap is challenging, considering that City leaders have opted to allocate DPD a budget of $654 million this fiscal year, significantly less than the sums spent on law enforcement in other high-crime cities across the country.

The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the City, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible. According to data from the FBI’s UCR database, Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts. Curious how we got our numbers? Check out our methodology page here.

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