Dallas Police Chief Aims for 10 Straight Years of Crime Reduction

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Sep 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:48 PM CDT
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For the 10th year in a row crime statistics are down in Dallas but only by six-tenths of a percent, but homicide is up 11 percent and business robberies are up 22 percent.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

For the 10th year in a row crime statistics are down in Dallas but only by six-tenths of a percent, but homicide is up 11 percent and business robberies are up 22 percent.

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Dallas is on a narrow path to post a 10th straight year of crime reduction, the chief of police said Monday.

Chief David Brown shared the monthly crime report with the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee.

"We're confident each year that we'll make the appropriate adjustments, but this year has been a difficult year," Brown said. "We've been flat most of the year. We've had challenges with all parts of the crime report."

Through Sept. 17, the new figures show crime down just 0.62 percent in 2013 after nine past years of decline.

Homicide is up 11.54 percent and business robbery is up 21.7 percent.

Brown said the department is shifting resources to boost detective ranks after reducing detectives to improve patrol and call-answering speed.

Over the past 10 years, Dallas recorded a 45 percent crime reduction, highest among the nation's 10 largest cities.

Brown said the drop is not a matter of cooking the books by failing to report crime.

"The most significant number, I think, is the level playing field," he said. "There can be no manipulation; it's what happens with homicides, with murder."

The 2012 homicide rate compares with lows last recorded in the 1950s, but this year's increase could edge the year end average up.

Hundreds of additional officers added to the force helped police cut crime in the first half of the 10-year drop but, since 2010, the city has spent only enough money to maintain the current size of the force.

"And I think leveraging technology to reduce crime is our next phase of challenge as it relates to reducing crime," Brown said. "Can cameras, can license plate readers, can other technologies help us force multiply our staffing model?"

More than 100 additional surveillance cameras are being added now in higher crime areas, and police are exploring ways to get more.

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