Dallas Falling Short Of Chief’s Crime-Drop Goal


Crime in Dallas probably won’t fall enough to meet Police Chief David Kunkle’s goal of a 10 percent reduction in murders and 10 percent drop in overall offenses this year, reports the Dallas Morning News. About the same number of people were slain in the first nine months of 2006 as a year ago. Overall crime is down 5.9 percent. “We might be getting close to the number of crimes we can reduce without increasing jail capacity or other things we don’t have control over,” he said. “Really, the only tool we have is arrests, and we’re just part of that criminal justice system.”

Kunkle said it’s difficult to tell if the lower-than-expected decrease in crime is the Police Department’s fault, or is caused by something more nebulous, such as the economy. He said he is surprised that the department has hasn’t gotten more mileage out of near-constant efforts to improve efficiency. Alex del Carmen, a criminal justice professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, said it’s noble to have goals, but there is only so much police can do: “When you start saying we’re going to have 10,000 fewer crimes in the city this year compared with last, you’re almost predicting that crime will be reduced based largely on forces you don’t control. It’s not so simple. I think you have to affect the social conditions of a city, or a neighborhood, to uplift the people, and fortify institutions that are supportive of them. That will affect, perhaps more long-term, the rate of crime.”

Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/102406dnmetcrimestats.3390aa9.html

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