Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle has set a goal of reducing overall crime and murders by 5 percent each in 2007, says the Dallas Morning News. That amounts to about 5,000 fewer criminal offenses. “We think that it’s achievable, but it’s going to be difficult,” Kunkle said. “These goals have been empowering to us because they cause us to wake up every morning and look at crime statistics.”
This is the third year that Kunkle has set specific benchmarks. He fell well short of reaching his 2006 goal of reducing overall crime by 10 percent. The city recorded a 3.6 percent reduction, or roughly 3,600 fewer offenses. “Crime is going down in the city, and it’s going down in all parts of the city,” Kunkle said, noting that Dallas is bucking a national trend of rising crime. “I would argue that the city’s never been safer when it comes to property crimes and crimes against people.” Kunkle has ordered a review of the department’s crime reporting. He did so reluctantly because he knew he might be accused of “cooking the books.” He believes that significant over-reporting of criminal offenses is partly to blame for Dallas’ repeated designation as having the highest crime rate among cities with more than 1 million people. A departmental review of 529 aggravated assaults in December 2005 showed that the tally would have been at least 10 percent lower had some not been coded improperly.