Chief David Kunkle said it best in a DMN story today: "I’ve always argued – even though it’s kind of contrary to what people believe – that the city has gotten safer not only from its peak years but also safer in more recent years." In 2009, 166 people were murdered in Dallas, down four people from 2008 and 34 from 2007. Kunkle credits the 700 more police officers hired during the past few years, along with a centralized "fusion" center that helps police identify and react to high-crime areas. The News also posted an interesting map pinpointing each of the year’s murders (click here to see it); you’ll note that about half of the murders occurred south of Interstate 30.
I’ve been critical of the council for throwing money around the past few years (the Trinity River Tollway and the Downtown Convention Center Hotel, if you need two examples), but here’s a case where the council hung tough and continued funding more officers and making sure a disproportionate number of them wound up on the street. You can argue all you want about the impact of that move on the battered city budget, but it’s hard to argue with the results.