Dallas could be headed for the lowest murder rate in the city’s recorded history, says Police Chief David Brown. The Dallas Morning News say new crime data show offenses falling dramatically in many areas. Some City Council members expressed skepticism. An uptick in aggravated assaults were the outlier in the statistics. Maj. Jeff Cotner of the crimes against persons division said many factors could be behind the increase, including better medical care turning what might have been murders in past years into aggravated assaults.
Sexual assaults were also up. Officials say a new, broader definition of the crime that took effect this year is behind that jump. Dallas Police Association president Ron Pinkston believes some offenses are getting lost in the department's new, beleaguered record management system. He said he knows of at least one instance where an officer rewrote a report because he couldn't find it in the system later. Glitches in the system, which went live June 1, caused a summerlong delay in reporting the crime stats, which are usually released monthly. Brown said there are still some issues with the system and added that user error, especially among older officers, was a big factor.