There’s been an increase in murders in Dallas so far this year, and the summer crime season is only just starting.
As of Tuesday, Dallas recorded 110 murders in 2022, 17 more than the same time in the year before.
The is also a slight increase in aggravated assault not considered to be family violence. But overall violent crime is down slightly so far in 2022.
A murder victim Monday was 33-year-old Debra Ann Nabors at a small apartment complex on Military Parkway in East Dallas.
Friends Wednesday were mourning the mother of three boys.
“It was a kind of altercation between my neighbor. Debra, she didn't deserve anything that happened to her. She normally sits on her porch and she minds her business,” said friend Dyron Turner.
Resident Larneisha Canady said the crime is troubling for others who live there.
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“I see visions of this lady who has just passed away. I'm having shakes at night. My kids are scared. I can't sleep,” she said.
The neighbors said complex managers have been slow to deal with trouble there.
Apartment crime problems have been a focus of Dallas police.
“Twenty-seven percent of our murders this year occurred at apartment complexes,” Chief of Police Eddie Garcia said.
Garcia was at Dallas City Hall for a city council briefing on the entire approach to Dallas crime.
Mayor Eric Johnson said he requested the briefing as summer crime season begins.
Johnson said crime is rising higher in other big cities.
“We're doing something right here. You should be proud of that. You all are a part of that. But we have to put the pedal down and we can't lose control of things this summer,” Johnson said.
The briefing included many other efforts separate from police aimed at reducing crime including a pop-up summer gathering spot on Malcolm X Boulevard on what used to be a vacant lot.
Blight reduction is one of the strategies for crime-prone areas.
“We're hoping to demonstrate that you can transform a place, that you can create the conditions that change the dynamics of a neighborhood and make it more safe,” said Rachel Tache with Child Poverty Action Lab, one of the organizations involved in the Malcolm X location.
The city council spent three hours Wednesday discussing and hearing all the strategies.
“It's a big approach. We're throwing everything at this. We're in this fight for the long haul. The reduction of violent crime in our city is not a day thing. It's not a month thing. It's the trend of how it looks over time. And we’re very proud of the crime plan that we’ve had. If not for the crime plan that we’ve had there would be definitely more victims that we would have in this city,” Garcia said.
Police have additional challenges. Response time is slower as calls for service increase. Garcia said the police department needs more officers. There were at least 500 more officers 11 years ago. Recruiting is about equal to the number of officers leaving. And more than a quarter of the officers are eligible for retirement.
Back at the apartment complex on Military Parkway, neighbors remain worried about safety.
“Over here it's just not safe for my children. My child does not want to sleep in her room because she knows Miss Debra died in front of her window,” Turner said.
A police spokesman said no arrest has been made in the murder of Debra Ann Nabors.