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Dallas has a murder crisis. We need helpThis article has
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We have to stop the bleeding now.

During a crisis, you take help where you can get it. There is no question right now that Dallas is in a crime crisis, and a murder crisis to be more specific.

We are grateful that Gov. Greg Abbott is deploying a team of Texas Rangers to assist with homicide investigations and that other special agents will come to the city to support gang and drug investigations.

Dallas has to stop the bleeding.

Federal authorities are also involved, with FBI agents at work on our crime crisis. Here again, we need it, and whatever support the city can provide, it must ensure we make the most of this support from our state and federal partners.

Mayor Eric Johnson deserves credit for publicly naming this crisis when other officials in and outside of the criminal justice system haven’t been vocal enough in saying that stopping violent crime is crucial for Dallas right now.

We would urge the mayor, though, to follow the advice of council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, who correctly notes that we have plenty of data about crime in this city. The question is how we are using that data.

It’s unreasonably difficult, for example, to get a public accounting of how bond is used in Dallas County and why we see many examples of people accused of terrible violence walking out of jail on unreasonably low bonds. How many such cases don’t make the paper? We don’t know. And if anyone in law enforcement in this city knows, they aren’t sharing the data.

The last time DPS troopers came to town we heard complaints about their work, even as their presence saw violent crime fall drastically. Troopers won’t be patrolling the streets this time. Maybe they should be.

When troopers patrolled Dallas in the summer, they removed more than 120 guns and rifles from the streets. We also saw a month-over-month reduction in violent crime of 9.6% from September to October.

Those who complained last year that troopers focused on writing tickets and stopping cars for small infractions have a point to the extent that such action can undermine community trust. But when done correctly, active policing can make communities safer. Safer communities have the chance to grow and prosper. Communities held in the grip of violence, drugs and guns will never get the chance to emerge from cycles of poverty.

This is an emergency for Dallas. We need help. Thank goodness we are getting it.

Correction 1:40 p.m., Nov. 20, 2020: In an earlier version of this editorial, we overstated the number of gun seizures during the DPS summer 2019 operation. The number was 120, including 13 rifles.

Dallas Morning News Editorial. Dallas Morning News editorials are written by the paper's Editorial Board and serve as the voice and view of the paper. The board considers a broad range of topics and is overseen by the Editor of Editorials.

editorialboard@dallasnews.com @dmnopinion

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