Despite the best efforts of the Dallas Police Department, Downtown Dallas continues to suffer from high crime rates — 7.2 times that of nearby Fort Worth.

The Metroplex Civic & Business Association (MCBA) released its monthly downtown crime comparison of Dallas and Fort Worth this week, once again highlighting the significant differential in criminal activity.

An ongoing staff shortage at DPD has inhibited the department’s efforts at getting crime under control. The department only has around 3,000 officers in the field despite a previous City analysis calling for closer to 4,000 to properly maintain public safety.

According to MCBA’s comparative study, there were far more motor vehicle thefts, assaults, and larcenies committed in Downtown Dallas than in Fort Worth’s city center last month. Downtown Fort Worth is patrolled by a special police unit and private security guards.

“If we look at what’s going on in Fort Worth, there’s not as much of an open window to commit crime. If someone was trying to decide if they were going to steal something or not, if there’s no police around, maybe they steal it. If there’s a lot of police around, maybe they don’t. It’s about the volume of police,” MCBA CEO Louis Darrouzet previously told The Dallas Express.

“The trick here is going to be getting police on the street, being a part of the community in the Central Business District. That’s what they do in Fort Worth, and it works,” he added.

In Downtown Dallas, there were 62 auto thefts in December. Only five vehicles were stolen in Fort Worth’s downtown area. As far as assault offenses go, 49 were documented in the former, while only eight were clocked in the latter. Larcenies also did not favor Dallas, with 94 committed in the neighborhood compared to the 11 reported in Fort Worth. Downtown Dallas also saw significantly more drug crimes, instances of vandalism, and weapon law violations.

Downtown Dallas has also been plagued by the city’s ongoing homelessness crisis. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a survey of city residents found that 76% were dissatisfied with the levels of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling seen in their neighborhoods and elsewhere in Dallas.

“[Vagrants] are individuals that end up staying on the street longer, the ones that need addiction support and mental health treatment, the ones stealing to eat. They’re assaulting people to get money. It creates a dynamic where they’re kind of in a fight or flight situation; they’re trying to survive,” Darrouzet said in a previous interview.

The “one-stop-shop” housing and social services model of Haven for Hope has been credited with reducing unsheltered homelessness by 77% in San Antonio’s downtown area and has polled favorably among Dallas residents. Some local stakeholders in Dallas are looking to launch a similar model, but it remains to be seen whether officials will support such an effort.