Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is again sending state police into Dallas as the city experiences a spike in shootings. The governor’s deployment, announced Wednesday, carries echoes of a controversial Texas Department of Public Safety operation in the city last year that some community members said led to over-policing and racial profiling, reports the Texas Tribune. Last weekend was Dallas’ deadliest of the year, with seven fatal shootings, bringing the homicide count for the year to 220. The total surpassed last year’s 210 homicides, but fell far below the record high of 500 in 1991. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the swell of violent crime required an “all-hands-on-deck response.”
Abbott said that at the request of city police, he was sending special agents, troopers, intelligence analysts and Texas Rangers to “reduce violent crime and protect the communities in the city of Dallas.” The governor said agents and troopers would help gang and drug investigations, the Rangers would help investigate homicides, and the state police would provide two helicopters and two patrol planes. The announcement sounds similar to “Operation D-Town,” under which Abbott sent state personnel into the city last June to help combat a spike in murders and violent crime. The operation lasted three months. The agency touted the operation, and Dallas police reported a significant drop in violent crime. Some city officials and community members said the troopers did more harm than good. Community members complained of troopers over-policing in poorer neighborhoods with mostly residents of color, questioning people about their immigration status and stopping people without valid reasons. Of 500 state arrests made in Dallas, 64 percent involved Blacks. Dallas’ population is 24 percent Black.