May has been the deadliest month in Dallas since the 1990s. Forty homicides have been reported in the city this month — that's more than one a day.
Four killings were reported in just the past 24 hours.
Assistant Police Chief Avery Moore told reporters this afternoon the department's adding eight detectives to the homicide unit, bringing the total to 22.
Dallas police have also created a response team. Moore said. "That homicide response team will consist of SWAT, fugitive disruption and fusion; they will not respond to every homicide but they will respond to homicides where it's needed."
Moore is asking residents to be vigilant — and to provide police with information on crimes. "We need help in solving these homicides," he said. "We've solved a great deal of them but we haven't solved all of them, and we need help. As you know when it comes to fighting crime, it takes everybody."
Moore said he can't yet explain why the homicide rate has jumped dramatically. But he says many of the cases started with arguments that escalated to shootings.
The homicide spike comes as the Dallas police department is understaffed and as summer approaches, which is typically a time when violent crime spikes in Texas and nationwide.