For the first time in more than a decade, crime was down last year in all major categories in Dallas, led by a double-digit drop in homicides, reports the Dallas Morning News. The data fuel hopes that Dallas can shake its image as one of the most dangerous big cities in the nation. The city fell about a percentage point short of Chief David Kunkle’s goal of reducing homicides in 2005 by 20 percent and got halfway to his goal of reducing overall crime 10 percent. The last time Dallas dropped in all crime categories was 1993.
Kunkle laid out new goals for 2006, including an additional 10 percent decline in homicides, a 10 percent decrease in overall crime and a renewed focus on crime in the city’s entertainment districts. Published reports of preliminary crime statistics in major cities show that Houston, the fourth largest, had a 23 percent increase in homicides last year, with 336. Chicago had virtually no change in homicides, holding at about 447. New York had 537, about a 5 percent decrease. Dallas, the ninth-largest city, logged 198 homicides last year, down from 244 in 2004 – an 18.9 percent decline. Dallas’ lowest number of homicides in recent years was 185 in 1999, while homicides reached an all-time high of 500 in 1991.