Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Dallas Police Chief David Brown says that reducing crime for a 10th straight year would not be easy.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown is facing a problem that has not confronted him in recent years -- a rising crime rate.
For the past nine years, one way or another, Dallas police have almost always posted lower crime figures after the city added hundreds of additional officers to the force.
As of March 20, Dallas police recorded an overall 1.4 percent increase in crime but a 5.9 percent increase in violent crime, led by a 57.9 percent increase in homicides, compared with the same time last year,
Brown told the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee on Monday that the homicide rate in February 2012 was remarkably low and very hard to beat again.
Brown warned the council members that reducing crime for a 10th straight year would not be easy.
"There will be many ebbs and flows this year with crime," he said. "At the end of the year, I'm confident that we will have another reduction, but it will take officers doing -- as they have done in the past -- a very phenomenal job."
Dallas police have already formed special task forces of officers to fight domestic violence and focus on habitual criminals.
Brown said he is forming another task force to focus on drug houses.
Brown said drug-related homicides are a greater Dallas problem because of past success police have had in arresting drug dealers.
"It's an unintended consequence, but as you shut down mid-level and upper-level drug dealers, there's competition that's created at the street level, and that competition results in drug murders," he said.
The 50-officer unit is training now and should be working by early summer when drug dealers are busiest.