Dallas recorded its lowest murder total in nearly four decades last year, but increases in rapes and business crimes helped keep Police Chief David Kunkle from meeting his ambitious crime reduction goals, reports the Dallas Morning News. Dallas logged 187 murders, down about 5.6 percent from the 198 reported in 2005. In that year, murders were down 19 percent from 2004. Overall crime fell 2.7 percent last year.
That was far short of Kunkle’s goal of cutting murders and overall crime by 10 percent each. Still, Kunkle said: “We’re very pleased. The growing trend nationally is an increase in homicides. Most of the cities you see with reductions this year didn’t have reductions last year. We’re unique.” He said the crime rate continues to improve because the department has made efforts to target more accurately hot spots of drug, gun, and gang crimes. He credited a good local economy and an improving working relationship between police and the community. The last time Dallas had fewer murders was 1967, when there were 133. Dr. Ellen Elliston, director of the Victim Intervention Program/Rape Crisis at Parkland Memorial Hospital, said that her staff has noticed the increase in reported rapes, but she’s generally skeptical of rape numbers. “We honestly don’t have a clue how many people are sexually assaulted,” she said.