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DALLAS (CBS11) – 2017 has started with an overall decline in crime for Dallas.

Monday, the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee received crime statistics for the beginning of the year.

Property and personal crimes combined show a decrease of 3.31 percent overall. Violent crime stats, compared to same period in 2016, increased by 5.72 percent, but those figures reveal a criminal contrast.

Sex crimes dropped by 32 percent while aggravated assaults increased by 45 percent.

Police point to a spike in road rage confrontations and drive-by shootings. And Dallas Police officials attribute both crime categories to gang violence.

“We plan to expand gang unit presence in South Central and Southeast Dallas,” Interim Police Chief David Pughes said Monday.

Pughes said criminal activity tied to gang operations in Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove areas warrant enhanced police enforcement.

Pughes said the extra gang enforcement can happen despite a continued decline in police personnel.

Pughes told the Public Safety Committee he projects a loss of 350 officers for 2017 due to resignations and retirements.

During the past year, hundreds of DPD officers resigned or retired over concerns about the stability of the Police and Fire Pension System.

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