DALLAS - Five more people lost their lives over the weekend in Dallas in what is quickly becoming another record breaking year for homicides.
A man was shot and killed inside a home in South Dallas on Elsie Faye Heggins Street on Friday, two women and a man were killed in a triple murder at a motel in Northwest Dallas on Saturday and a group of people fired into a white Mercedes in the parking lot of the Westin Galleria Hotel killing a man early Sunday.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement the violent crime is why he fought a 25 percent cut to DPD's overtime budget.
“Dallas has had unacceptably high levels of violent crime over the past two years,” Johnson said. “Public safety must be our top priority.”
Dr. Eric Coleman serves on DPD's police academy training advisory board, and is coordinator of the criminal justice program at the University of North Texas.
As the Dallas population grows, he says it is important for DPD's resources to grow as well to deal with the increase in violent crime.
“You want to be sure you are also increasing the needed resources to deal with that. Presence is important,” Coleman said.
Coleman says while it can be nearly impossible for police to prevent murders, it is undeniable that police presence can be a deterrent to violent crimes.
“Police presence matters. It’s like when we go to the State Fair when we can have the State Fair. We police everywhere. It’s not that there is crime, it’s that we don’t want crime,” Coleman said.
The Dallas City Council did decide to redistribute about $3.8 million of the overtime dollars to hiring 95 civilian employees, which would free up 95 officers to go back on patrol.
“You put a badge and gun on somebody, that’s an expensive employee unit,”
Coleman believes it's a strategy that may work, but could take time.
“It could take a couple of years to really begin to see a downtick in some of these crime rates,” Coleman said.