The headlines and crime scenes throughout Dallas tell an undeniable story. The trends are disturbing. Aggravated assaults not related to family violence are up. Homicides are up as well, with more than 200 this year so far.
The Dallas Police Department held a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon to address the increase of violent crime.
“What we continue to see is an increase in the argument conflict type confrontations that actually ends in gun battle,” said Major Danny Williams of the Dallas Police Department.
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The gunbattle not only threatens acquaintances but innocent bystanders. Just this week a four-year-old girl and an older man were shot while standing outside at an apartment complex in Dallas. Earlier this month, three people were shot to death at Dallas nightclub Aces. And just Wednesday morning, a man said to be a well-known Dallas rapper, identified as 28-year-old Melvin Noble, was shot and killed in plain sight on a busy highway.
“A lot of these homicides are taking place between people that know each other,” said Williams.
Police say most recent crimes are concentrated in Southeast and Southwest Dallas. To combat the spike, the department has turned to what they call “hot spot” policing. The Dallas Police Department says these hotspots, determined by data, are established on a daily and weekly basis.
“Sometimes you have to have a focus area, and you have to be committed to that area. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re looking at hot spots. We’re looking at hot people and that’s how we’re going to make an impact,” said Deputy Chief Avery Moore.
During the virtual press conference, reporters were told officers and investigators would focus on people, places and behaviors that contribute to these hot spots. They’re asking the community for help as well.
“You can’t arrest yourself out of crime,” said Moore. “But what you can do is have a collaborative approach where everybody is involved, everybody is taking crime seriously and everybody is policing their respective areas on collaboration with the police department.”
The Department said it would enhance its violent crime plan by focusing on street-level enforcement and specialized units that will focus on hot spots during the days and times when most violent crimes are committed.