Dallas Police Officers Frustrated at Police Chief's New Plan to Combat Violent Crime Spike

The heads of Dallas' four major police unions are meeting with Mayor Mike Rawlings over growing rank-and-file discontent about scheduling changes and new crime-fighting initiatives.

Meanwhile, President of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas Thomas Glover confirmed they sent a letter to the city stating the association no longer supports Chief David Brown in his tenure as chief.

"It's a number of things and in the coming days, I'll be outlining them to the African-American community, to the clergy, to the business leaders, the political leaders and to the elected officials. but there are a number of things that have taken place if you read the letter, " Glover said.

NBC 5 was not provided a copy of the letter.

Glover, however, was one of several police union leaders that met at the Dallas Police Association building to discuss concerns.

Violent crime in Dallas is up 30 percent compared to this time last year. All categories of violent crime are up, including violent attacks, assaults and robberies.

But it's the number of murders so far this year that is particularly troubling. There have been 44 homicides in Dallas this year, including two teenagers killed Monday morning in a drug-deal-gone-bad, police say. That is an 86 percent increase from the number of murders this time last year, where there were 24 homicides.

"Eighty-six percent increase in murders in this city, that is unacceptable. And it’s something we have to address. We have to change schedules. The reality is that these violent crimes are during the evening hours, not during the day hours," said Brown.

In February, Brown adjusted the schedules of hundreds of officers as part of a foot-patrol heavy "community oriented policing" initiative.

Veteran officers and detectives, including some within Brown's command staff, were put back on patrol beats in order to respond to 911 calls and help the backlog of priority crimes.

Brown now says 600 more officers will have their schedules and off-days changed over the next few weeks, even indicating it may not be a temporary move unless the violent crime spike comes to an end.

"Officers will have to be permanently assigned the evening shift if these spikes continue. It wouldn’t be a temporary thing," he said. "And that’s hard to do, because officers obviously want to earn day shifts and weekends off. But we’re on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week environment of public service."

Brown is aware he has lost support, but he's not backing down.

"The reward of serving this community is so great for me, that it’s worth the challenges of people asking you to resign," he said, adding that he doesn't have any hard feelings for the unions.

"They are there to protect their officers’ schedules, that’s their job. That job is not the police chief’s job. But the unions are there to advocate for their officers’ and not have their lives disrupted," he said.

Less than a month ago, Brown moved 170 officers into a new Violent Crime Task Force to combat violent crime. Brown says it's working.

"The violent crime increase went from 30 percent from last year at the start of this month to now 22 percent. So it's going down, but we still have a lot of work to do," he said.

However, he said one challenge that the Violent Crime Task Force is driving the violence to behind closed-doors.

"What the task force has not done is reduce the number of drug-related murders and domestic violence murders. And those murders are happening inside homes. Drug houses and homes. And that’s why we need a group just dedicated to serving domestic violence warrants and drug house warrants," Brown said.

To that end, he is creating a new task force with about 170 officers total that will be focused on serving domestic violence warrants and drug-offender warrants.

During a Public Safety Committee meeting, Brown indicated this year's warm weather is partly to blame for the crime surge and slow 911-call response times.

"It's been such a warm year so far," Brown told city council members. "And we're seeing a summertime 911 call volume already, and so the reality is we need to rotate in more officers to evening-shift at every station."

In a Facebook post after the Committee meeting's conclusion, Council Member Philip Kingston seemed incredulous.

"DPD's presentation doesn't add up. Crime is up because the weather's nice? The highest police budget in Dallas's history is insufficient to keep us safe? The results seem to me to expose systemic problems inside the department," he said.

It remains to be seen what will come of the Police Unions' meeting with the mayor.

Rawlings is a big supporter of Brown and frequently calls him the "best big city police chief in America."

City Manager AC Gonzalez has made no indication yet that he will seek the Brown's resignation.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood contributed to this report.

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