A five-year effort by the police department and city to remove Dallas from the top slot on an annual list of large U.S. cities with the highest crime rate is paying off, as San Antonio took the top slot this year, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The police department of the city of about 1.24 million residents attributes the sharply falling crime rate to the hiring of additional officers, better intelligence, fewer gathering places in high-crime areas and changes in the way incidents are reported.
Since Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle assumed command in 2004, the department has added 600 officers to bring the total to 3,500. Kunkle has said the department will hire more.
In 2007, the department created the Fusion Center to more quickly analyze and distribute information to patrol officers and detectives. That same year, the department implemented changes in reporting, such as the creation of "investigation of" reports for incidents where officers don’t have evidence of don’t believe a crime occurred.
The department is also taking a harder line against wayward officers. In April and May, seven officers were terminated for abusive behavior, theft, public intoxication or neglecting their duties.
Other efforts involve enlisting community organizations such as Operation Oasis to provide counseling for recently released prisoners, employment services and housing resources. Hear more about the department's partnerships with the community in this video:
Message From Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle and Friends from Operation Oasis on Vimeo.