Gun violence across Dallas left more than a dozen people shot and four killed over the holiday weekend.
"It’s just senseless," said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. "We’re seeing very senseless violence."
Garcia said despite the weekend shootings, violent crime in the city has been declining the last four months and is down from the previous year's July 4 holiday.
"We had a very violent early Monday morning – there’s no doubt – there’s no doubt about it. I know that’s what people wake up to," said Garcia. "But what I would hope is, collectively, we send the message violent crime has been trending down in the city of Dallas the last four months. Anyone that’s been paying attention would be able to notice that it’s trending down."
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He pointed to numbers comparing this weekend's violent crime to violent crime over the July 4 holiday in 2020.
According to the Dallas Police Department, there were 128 violent incidents and 179 offenses during the 2020 Independence Day holiday. Garcia compared that to 83 violent incidents and 114 offenses during this year's holiday weekend.
Garcia said his department has stepped up patrols and continues to target 47 high-crime areas in the city.
"One life is too many," Garcia said. "One incident yielding many victims is too many, but I'm very proud of the effort of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department over the weekend."
One complaint NBC 5 heard from people reporting crimes over the weekend related to a slow response time from police officers.
Garcia said the city is working to address problems plaguing the 911 call center through compensation, training, and recruiting.
He's also optimistic about the recently launched violence interrupter program. The city-funded effort uses former gang members and civilians in communities they know to help connect with people and bring crime down.
"Again we remain cautiously optimistic of our plan, but now is not the time to let up," Garcia said. "We need to put our foot on the gas to continue to tamp down on what’s plaguing our city."