State Police May Help With Crime In Dallas
Dallas police this week reported a 75 percent jump in homicides over the same period last year. The rise in killings includes at least 17 so far this month, compared with five in March a year ago.
The Texas Governor has offered the help of the Texas Department of Public Safety at the same time Dallas Chief David Brown has backed off an earlier idea to reassign hundreds of officers to high crime areas.
Exactly what role the Texas Department of Public Safety would play remains unclear. It is unusual that DPS, whose troopers mostly patrol highways, would help a big city get a handle on homicides at the request of a governor.
DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said discussions are ongoing but in an email listed “patrol support in hot-spot locations for criminal activity” or investigative and aerial support as possible ways of assistance.
Dallas Police Chief Brown has welcomed the offer, and Abbott said the state’s role will be purely collaborative.
Violent crime also is up in other major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, where killings rose from 241 in 2014 to 303 last year. Abbott said he would not hesitate to offer state police help to other Texas cities as needed.
Vinger, the DPS spokesman, said it was not unusual for DPS to provide help outside its usual mission. But examples he cited — big events such as Super Bowls and music festivals — were more about providing a heightened security presence than helping a city combat an ongoing problem.