Gov. Greg Abbott deploys DPS to combat Dallas violent crime spike

The city had 40 homicides last month, the highest monthly total since the 1990s.

The Department of Public Safety will provide troopers, special agents and other resources to assist Dallas police.
The Department of Public Safety will provide troopers, special agents and other resources to assist Dallas police.  Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to send officers to Dallas to help the city's police respond to a recent spike in violent crime.

The state agency will send troopers, special agents and communication specialists, among other resources, Abbott's office said. The Texas Rangers will also be available to assist with homicide investigations.

“The Dallas Police Department is committed to doing all they can to crack down on criminal activity, and Texas will dedicate whatever resources are needed to help keep our communities safe,” Abbott said in the Friday statement.

The action comes after Dallas had 40 homicides in May, the highest monthly total since the 1990s, according The Dallas Morning News. The city has also seen increases in other violent crimes — such as robberies and assaults — and its police department's response times have slowed as its staff has shrunk, the Morning News has reported. Police Chief U. Renée Hall, who has come under fire for the understaffed department and rise in homicides, requested the help from the state, Abbott's office said. The city has 13 homicide detectives on staff.

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Crime in Dallas has garnered national attention, including for a string of recent killings and violent attacks on black transgender women. In May, 22-year-old Muhlaysia Booker, was shot and killed in Dallas just a month after a cellphone video showing her being brutally beaten went viral. Chynal Lindsey, a 26-year-old black transgender woman who was found Saturday with "obvious signs of homicidal violence," was the second black transgender woman to be killed in Dallas in 2019.

At a bill signing in Dallas on Tuesday, Abbott said he will make sure Dallas has access to “every resource and tool they need to address this challenge and to quell any increase in murders in Dallas.”

“Any type of murder is bad and unacceptable,” Abbot said. “Period.”

Patrick Svitek contributed reporting.