Crime in Dallas Drops Again

Violent crime stats have dropped; burglaries next target for reduction

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Monday, Oct 24, 2011  |  Updated 9:55 PM CDT
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Dallas Crime Down 4 Percent

NBCDFW.com

Dallas Police say violent crimes have dropped, but are looking for ways to reduce home burglaries.

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Dallas police say crime in the city is down 4 percent compared to last year, with violent crime by double digits.

Dallas Police Assistant Chief Charles Cato told the city’s public safety committee Monday that violent crimes such as homicide have seen a 10 percent drop, but property crimes continue to be a problem.

The number of home burglaries is consistent with last year.

Dallas saw a spike in home and business break-ins in May. That is when the department launched Operation Heatwave, a program in which officers go door to door in high-crime neighborhoods.

In order to reduce those numbers, police say they're working to find a way to get more involved with specific communities, including developing more crime watch groups.

Dallas police also put bait cars back on the street this summer after a rash of auto thefts. And, under a controversial new plan, detectives who haven’t been on patrol in years are being forced to return to the streets for two-week periods.

“Chief Brown is taking officers from behind a desk and putting them back on streets," said Nancy Wilson, president of Lakewood Crimewatch. "It’s effective. They get to know the neighbors and the surroundings."

With two months left in 2011, Cato said he expects the city to finish the year with crime down 2 percent.

The Dallas Police Department's next big plan is to place surveillance cameras in the city's top 10 hotspots for crime.

The department is still researching exactly what cameras to purchase. It hopes to buy ones that are mobile and can move to different neighborhoods. The funding for the cameras has already been approved.

At Monday's meeting, police also discussed having a mobile presence, including using the smartphone app iWatchDallas, to get more tips and to make it easier for people to contribute to their safety.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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