Dallas Police Chief takes part in panel discussion on efforts to reduce crime in Dallas

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Law enforcement met with a packed room full of concerned citizens from all over Dallas Saturday for a panel discussion on their efforts to reduce crime in the city.

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said over the last month, violent crimes are down in crime-ridden areas of the city.

But the chief added that there has been a recent spike in violence, especially in May.

Dallas had 38 murders last month, with 18 of those involving family violence or people who knew each other.

At Saturday's discussion, Chief Hall talked about several strategies Dallas police are using to combat crime in the city, including their "summer crime initiative," where they've identified "problem areas" or "hot spots" for crime to target.

So far, police said they have made nearly 360 arrests and seized 30 guns in those areas over the last month, but they still have a lot of work to do. 

"What specific strategies are you doing to address those communities? Specific strategies, actions. What are you doing?" one person asked at Saturday's discussion.

With the city of Dallas now standing at more than 100 murders so far this year, concerned citizens are turning to city leaders and law enforcement for answers.

"Collaboration is key. It's 21st century policing, it's bringing other law enforcement agencies and communities together to police cities and that's what we're doing," Chief Hall said.

But the climbing number of murders in Dallas has some calling for Hall to step down.

Chief Hall says she doesn't have a response to the naysayers, choosing instead to focus on her role as chief. 

And she says part of the solution lies in the community partnering with police to help solve and prevent crime.

"We have to stay vigilant as a law enforcement agency, but we have to make sure those things our community has some control over, whether it's being the eyes and ears, whether it's having a dialogue with us, making sure we're talking about where crime is happening," Chief Hall said.

Chief Hall presented data that showed violent crimes are going down in crime hot spots in June, compared to last month.

But murders, aggravated assaults, and robberies have all increased in those areas in the last year.

"Those individuals in that area who currently have warrants, we're going after those individuals," Chief Hall said. "Those individuals out selling drugs, known narcotics locations that are contributing to drugs in that area, making sure we're executing search warrants in those areas."

The crime problem in Dallas has become serious enough to warrant help from the state.

"This is not a rescue effort, this is a partnership," Chief Hall added.

Chief Hall said the data shows they're already seeing results from DPD's recent partnership with DPS troopers.

"Though we've had a spike in violence, specifically in the month of May, we are still one of the safer cities in the United States," Chief Hall said.

Chief Hall did acknowledge that Dallas PD is down about 550 officers in recent years

But she said they're not using that as a crutch, adding that they're going to continue working with the manpower they have and keep on recruiting.