After 40 murders in one month, the Dallas Police Department is in “triage mode."
The department increased the number of homicide detectives from 14 to 22, effective immediately due to the May murders.
The huge number of murders are the most in recent memory at DPD. When asked when the last time the department had so many murders in a month, a spokesperson for the department went back to 1991 when there were 45 murders.
After 40 murders in May — and just four of them Thursday night — the Dallas Police Department is throwing 60 percent more manpower into its homicide unit.
“Everyone knows we are 600 officers short. It’s no secret. We at the Dallas Police Department don’t use that as an excuse,” said Dallas PD Assistant Chief Avery Moore. “Our detectives work extremely hard. DPD works extremely hard to keep the community safe. Would I love to have more officers? Absolutely. Is that an excuse? No, it is not.”
The eight additional homicide detectives are coming from the cold case unit and the team that works shootings that don't end in death.
“I am not disbanding cold case as a unit,” Moore said. “They will still be working cold cases.”
Both candidates for Dallas mayor are saying they are the right person to tackle the city’s spike in crime.
"We do not have enough police officers today to adequately police the city of Dallas,” said Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs.
Last year, Griggs worked to increase starting police pay from $48,000 to $60,000 and a three percent across the board raise. But DPD still hasn't been able to get ahead even with its latest graduating class. Instead, the department remains a force of just 2,900 officers.
Griggs says the city needs to do more.
“This is a crisis,” he said. “We need to increase police pay, increase benefits and aggressively attract and recruit more police officers.”
State Representative Eric Johnson was not available for questions. He released a statement saying, “As Mayor, I will work with the police chief, the city manager and my colleagues to identify immediate and necessary changes that will deal with this issue head-on. It's also important to remember that murders and violent crimes also are symptoms of larger challenges we all face as a city."
The Dallas Police Department called on the public for help.
“When it comes to fighting crime, it takes everyone,” Moore said. “We need your help solving these crimes.”
Out of the 40 murders, DPD has solved 19 of them with either an arrest or a warrant. The department could not say how many arrests have been made versus warrants issued.