Easter weekend was a violent one for the city of Dallas.
As reported by The Dallas Express, several people were wounded and multiple people were killed in an apparent surge in shootings and murders.
The Dallas Police Department is already understaffed, and it continues to see an increase in murders and the volume of calls.
The department currently seeks to hire 250 officers.
Mayor Eric Johnson has hit the recruiting trail in an effort to bring more officers to the city.
Johnson told The Dallas Express at a recent community meet and greet that he believes adding to the law enforcement ranks is essential to combating crime.
“Do we need to address a shortage of officers in the city? Absolutely,” said Johnson. “Every year, every budget I’ve supported has funded public safety to the tune of hiring more officers, 250 a year, every year for the past couple of years.” Johnson said.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia likewise feels the impact of being short-staffed.
“The impacts on the department [are] increasing while staff is decreasing,” said Garcia, according to WFAA.
“But, ultimately, when you continue to look at the importance of staffing, I mean, I don’t want to look at it and be the frog in the boiling pot and not understand when you are boiling,” Garcia added.
DPD employs nearly 3,200 officers — about 600 fewer than the department had in 2005.
As of Tuesday, Dallas had logged 16 more murders this year than at the same time last year — 80 year-to-date — according to the Dallas crime analytics dashboard.
Murders had previously been declining from the sky-high rates of 2020, something Chief Garcia credited to the implementation of the violent crime reduction plan.
But murders have surged again, and the city has seen a 25% increase since this time last year, according to the Dallas Police daily crime briefing for April 9.
This leaves Garcia looking for solutions, one of which could be beefing up the police ranks to help prevent or manage outbreaks of violence like that seen this past weekend.
“Obviously, after these last two years of success that we have had, there are going to be challenging moments. There are going to be challenging weekends,” Garcia told WFAA.