The Dallas City Council’s Public Safety Committee convened Tuesday afternoon and heard testimony from the Dallas Police Department (DPD) on its ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in the city.
Major Jason Scoggins noted that robberies were down by double digits year-to-date through the end of February but admitted that aggravated assaults and murders had ticked up significantly since the beginning of the new year.
“We’re still combatting some of the rising crime from January,” Scoggins said.
According to Scoggins’ presentation, aggravated assaults spiked 13.55%, and murders jumped 13.89% compared to the first two months of 2022.
Still, Scoggins insisted that the City’s data-driven Violent Crime Reduction Plan, which consists of a phased approach toward targeting certain high-crime areas throughout Dallas, was actually working, resulting in significant declines in the number of “incidents.”
“Last month, we discussed how the crime trends look different. We implemented some efforts. Deployed officers in certain areas. Investigators worked their tails off, and this month we’re getting it going back in the right direction,” he said.
While violent crime incidents are reportedly going down, according to DPD, the number of victims and logged offenses are going up.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia admitted as much, telling the committee, “Obviously, our goal is to have less victims in the city. There’s no question about that.”
Garcia explained that a number of recent criminal incidents are being committed against or in the presence of multiple individuals, which results in more logged offenses, citing one example of a suspect who fired a gun at someone inside a home that had 15 people in it.
“We can’t necessarily control the number of individuals that are at a place,” Garcia said.
Garcia further noted, “January and February were very busy for us, and challenging … It’s challenging coming off of back-to-back years in [violent crime] reductions, but it’s the trends that are important.”
He went on to claim that incident numbers for the first two months of this year were at five-year lows, which The Dallas Express was unable to verify by press time.
Preliminary figures year-to-date through Monday, however, suggest that violent crime is still ratcheting up, according to a DPD Daily Crime Briefing from March 6, which indicated a 12.16% increase in aggravated assaults and a 12.82% increase in murders. Overall, violent crime is up 6.12% since the new year.