Dallas' 2014 murder total was its lowest since 1930, which the Dallas Morning News says is the year Bonnie and Clyde met at a Dallas house party. The preliminary police count of 116 murders last year was a notable drop from the 143 murders in 2013 and it's fewer than half the murders recorded in 2004. Police officials say their crime-fighting and crime-prevention strategies have played a major role in reducing homicides, the rarest of major crimes. Others say outside variables, including medical advances, changing demographics and better social services, deserve much of the credit.
“I'm really amazed at how low that number has gotten,” said Dallas school Police Chief Craig Miller, who became a police officer in 1982 and later headed the homicide unit. He said police technology, such as surveillance cameras, has helped deter criminals. He also said paramedics and better trauma care have played big roles. Dallas Fire-Rescue has touted improved response times in recent years. Officers are now equipped with tourniquets and gauze. One officer used the aids last week to help save a gunshot victim. For every 100,000 people, the city tallied just over nine murders last year. That is still above the 2013 national average for cities of more than 1 million people but is far better than murder havens Flint, Mi., and Detroit, where about 48 and 45 people out of every 100,000 are slain, respectively.