The city of Dallas recorded its 200th homicide over the weekend, putting it on track to easily eclipse the 209 homicides recorded in 2019.
On Monday, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said she believes factors related to the pandemic are largely to blame. In other major cities across America, Hall said similar rises in crime are also being seen.
“There are a lot of stressors taking place and we are seeing violent behaviors from individuals who under normal circumstances would not commit such acts,” said Hall. “We are troubled, anytime someone dies, we are troubled, one is too many,” she continued.
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On Saturday, a 19-year-old SMU student was among the latest to be killed. In addition to confronting crime originating from unexpected places, Hall said the department continues to face a shortage of hundreds of officers.
“Something is going on and I do think it is COVID related, I think it is a breakdown of our normal routine, our normal rules of behavior,” said District 14 City Councilman David Blewett.
Blewett has been a proponent of hiring more Dallas Police Officers but said now, with the shortage not likely to be solved in the near term, the city and department will have to be creative to confront the rising crime.
“All of us have to have our eyes open, we simply can’t rely on enough officers to protect us all the time and I hate that message, I’ll get in trouble for it but it’s just true,” said Blewett.