Dallas, Texas – A rising rate of homicide in Dallas this year has boosted the workload for detectives, but they are still posting strong arrest numbers.
That data point is among the pieces of information in a report requested by Mayor Eric Johnson last week in a rebuke of the city’s progress on fighting violent crime.
A Johnson representative said requested information was provided Monday.
In answer to questions from NBC 5 Monday, Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said there were 223 homicides in 2020 as of Monday morning with 167 of those cases cleared.
That amounts to a rate of 75%, which compares to the national average of about 61% in a 2017 report from the FBI and a 2019 report from Statista.com.
“Which is unheard of with the amount of detectives we presently have,” Mata said. “So they are doing an exceptional job, as are all the detectives throughout the ranks.”
Of at least 16 people murdered in Dallas just since November 11, arrests have been made for at least seven of them according to police reports.
Those cases include the arrest of accused serial killer Jeremy Harris for three Dallas homicides and crimes in other cities, too.
Notable recent homicides that have not yet been solved include the Pleasant Grove murders of a 49-year Raul Resendiz and his 30-year old daughter Diana, who chased after her father’s shooters before she was shot on November 15.
November 11, there was the brazen freeway killing of 28-year old Melvin Noble, known to rap music fans as Mo3. Police released a surveillance photo of the alleged shooter in action on I-35E, the R.L.Thornton Freeway, but the photo has not led to an arrest.
“I’m very confident in our detectives that they’re going to get that job done, just like they have solved so many cases throughout this year,” Mata said.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson started a debate on Wednesday over Chief U. Renee Hall’s promise of ‘all hands on deck’ against violent crime.
“We are long overdue, long overdue for this approach to violent crime in our city,” Johnson said. “The time for talking and the time for words is over.”
Chief Hall took offense from Johnson’s remarks in an exclusive interview with NBC5 Investigates reporter Scott Freidman on Thursday.
“The attacks seem personal. And when you attack the chief of police, you’re attacking the men and women, the 3,153 people who are here every day during a pandemic,” Hall said.
Speaking for members of his union Monday, Mata said officers are not offended.
“Absolutely not. If anything, I’ve had numerous officers who have said to me, finally we have a mayor who just says it like it is,” Mata said. “I’m sorry she takes offense by what the mayor is asking, but this is not personal. This is business.”
Police have said they are focusing on crime hot spots, but have declined to detail exactly which neighborhoods are involved.
Mata said the district of one city council members is high on homicide.
“Adam Bazaldua’s district has 42 murders which is by far, way above any other district,” he said.
Bazaldua took issue with Mata’s mention of the district.
“The data by district should serve as an eye opener to him and the many naysayers, that there is an undeniable correlation between violent crime and socioeconomics in communities. This is why our people took to the street, demanding higher investment in these identified areas. Pointing out that the lower income districts are much higher than the most affluent only proves so many’s point,” Bazaldua said.
The report provided for the mayor listed 40 homicides in Bazaldua’s District 7 as of the end of October.
Mata asked citizens to help police by providing information about crimes they know about in their neighborhood.
And he asked people to be patient about the time it takes to complete investigations as detectives protect the rights of the accused.
“They have constitutional rights just like every other citizen. There are no shortcuts in this business,” Mata said.
In his critique of police management, Mayor Johnson last week asked City Manager T.C.Broadnax to provide monthly detailed data on crime, police staffing and other city spending aimed at protecting communities. Johnson asked that the first batch of information be delivered Monday.
Tristan Hallman, Chief of Policy and Communication for Mayor Johnson said the information was delivered late Monday, with data as of the end of October to serve as a baseline for future reports that the mayor will make public to citizens