DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Records show the city of Dallas had nearly as many homicides in May as it did for the first four months of the year.
While there were 41 homicides last month alone, the city had 49 homicides between January 1 and April 30 of this year.
Last year, the city had 15 homicides in the month of May, and 56 homicides during the first four months of the year.
CBS 11 compared the homicide rate in Dallas, the nation’s ninth largest city with 1.35 million people in July, 2018 with some other cities.
Last month alone, the city of Chicago, the third largest city in the U.S. with 2.7 million people, had 57 homicides.
CBS 11 also looked at San Antonio and San Diego, California, the seventh and eighth largest cities in the nation, along with San Jose, the nation’s tenth largest city.
In 2018, Dallas had 196 homicides, while San Antonio had 107, San Diego had 35 and San Jose had 28 last year.
Dallas Councilman Tennell Atkins said, “I think the whole council is concerned. I think the city is concerned, and I think everyone is concerned. Why is there a spike of this murder rate in the city?
Councilman Omar Narvaez said people who find themselves in a heated dispute need to find a way to deescalate the situation. “Try to think about what you’re doing because the majority of these are people who know each other. There’s nothing DPD can do to stop that type of domestic violence from escalating into that realm. But overall, we need to make sure people are vigilant. If they see something, say something.”
Councilman Lee Kleinman said, “It’s concerning. We really need to figure out what the source of this is and get it under control.”
He said he supports Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, who started her summer crime plan May 20, two weeks early, because of the spike in murders.
The Dallas Police Department said the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety and members of the FBI, ATF, DEA, DHS Enforcement and the U.S. Marshall’s Task Force are helping officers track down and arrest the city’s top wanted violent offenders.
DPD has previously reported that during the first four days, the effort took into custody 50 offenders on murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, child pornography, weapons and felony drug charges.
Kleinman said, “We should take advantage of any resources available to us to try to get the crime under control. If the state is willing to step-in and help, we’ve got to find the places to plug them in and use them.”
Mayor Pro Tem Casey Thomas agreed. “I appreciate the Governor offering that. I haven’t had a chance to talk with Chief Hall regarding that but I do plan to within the next 24 hours to see what her response is.”
Thomas said he supports Chief Hall as well.
Records show as of April 30, DPD had a total of 2,995 officers.
A staffing study of the department remains ongoing.
Thomas said, “We’re expecting to get the results of the staffing study very soon, hopefully before the council goes on recess.”
The council is on recess for the month of July.
Chief Hall will brief the council’s public safety committee about her summer crime reduction plan Monday morning.