- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DALLAS (AP) - State troopers are assisting Dallas police by serving warrants on “high-threat criminals” as the city tackles a surge in violent crime that last month prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to offer state resources to help.

Troopers are particularly focused on rounding up gang members, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said in a statement Tuesday.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown told a city council committee Monday that his department’s newly formed violent crime task force has curtailed the rate of violent incidents. But, according to The Dallas Morning News, he added that, “We’ve got a lot of work to do. This is nowhere near where we need to be.”

Dallas police in a statement Tuesday reiterated the role of state troopers but did not elaborate.

Aggravated assaults have increased by 30 percent over the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year, and robberies have jumped by 15 percent. There’ve been 45 killings so far this year, compared to 26 over the same period in 2015.

Brown has reminded residents that while the rate of killings has increased, it’s dropped significantly from the 248 recorded in 2004. There were 136 killings in all of 2015, up from 116 the prior year.

The response to the surge in crime had prompted friction between Brown and rank-and-file officers on how to combat the issue.

He told city councilors last month that hundreds of officers would be reassigned to target high-crime neighborhoods and bulk up staffing on a 4 p.m. to midnight shift. Others would be placed on task forces concentrating on areas such as serving domestic violence warrants, Brown said, and more officers, including top commanders, would be assigned to foot patrols.

But officers complained the changes would disrupt their personal lives, and at least one police union called on Brown to resign. Three other leading police unions also complained about the sweeping changes.

Brown and City Manager A.C. Gonzalez later released a joint statement saying Brown “has heard his officers’ concerns.” Officials are studying the matter and promised it will include feedback from a force that has more than 3,500 officers.

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