After a Dallas Morning News investigation exposed flaws in how Dallas police collect crime statistics involving car burglaries, Mayor Tom Leppert announced changes in the system Thursday and voiced his confidence in the city’s overall crime numbers. The News says many car burglary reports are handled by civilian call takers over the phone. Soon, all of them will be handled by officers dispatched to the scene.
The mayor also announced a sweeping review of all the cases this year, car burglaries and otherwise, affected by a recent procedural change intended to exclude crime reports that police label untrustworthy. The News’ investigation studied car burglary reports tagged with the label “investigation of,” indicating police did not deem them credible. In doing so, the department escaped reporting their existence to federal authorities who keep track of crime statistics. The paper’s review revealed a system that let real crime fall through the cracks.