Dallas’ Kunkle Reforming Police Department


Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle has begun his sixth year on the job. Since 1960, says the Dallas Morning News, the average chief in the city has lasted about four years before being driven out or fleeing the scene. The newspaper says Kunkle is “winning grudging admiration from many quarters by taking slow and measured steps toward reforming an organization once beset by poor leadership, faulty hiring practices, the fallout over false arrests in a fake-drug scandal and racial tensions.”Crime has fallen 21 percent between the end of 2004 and the end of 2008. Even without bookkeeping changes Kunkle implemented to bring crime-reporting standards in line with other big cities’ practices, crime is down sharply. Dallas also shed its seemingly perennial designation as the city with the highest crime rate among those with more than a million residents. “He’s been a great chief,” said Thabiti Olatunji, who has seen dramatic improvements in his neighborhood. “Police are a lot more responsive,” said Olatunji, chairman of the North Park Community Crime Watch.

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