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  #1  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 4:48 PM
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Dallas' crime rate no longer the highest among large U.S. cities

For whatever reason, none of the San Antonio area websites or newspapers seem to have reported that San Antonio is now #1 in crime rate for all cities above 1 million - it used to be Dallas, but Dallas dropped to #2.
Dallas' crime rate no longer the highest among large U.S. cities

07:51 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News
teiserer@dallasnews.com

Dallas has shed its title as the U.S. city of more than 1 million with the highest crime rate.



The city is poised to announce that the No. 1 rank, which Dallas held for at least 10 years, now goes to San Antonio.

Based on an analysis of population growth and crime numbers released last week by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Dallas will drop to the No. 2 spot, and Houston will rank third.

"We're clearly headed in the right direction," said Mayor Tom Leppert. "I believe there is still a lot of work left to be done. We want to see it lower than it is today."

According to statistics individual cities reported to the state, Dallas now has a rate of 68 crimes per 1,000 residents; San Antonio has 79 crimes per 1,000 residents and Houston has 59 crimes per 1,000 residents. [/B]

The Dallas City Council had set a goal for the Police Department to get the city out of the top spot by 2008. The city appears to have met that goal.
"That's good news," said Police Chief David Kunkle, who took the post almost five years ago. "Our officers have worked very hard. It is a credit to a lot of different people whenever crime is going down in a community."
Last year, every category of crime – ranging from murder to theft – fell in Dallas. The city recorded more than 10,000 fewer offenses.
And crime continues to fall. It is down 17.5 percent through April.


Crime report concerns

Criminal experts have always said that using the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports to make comparisons among cities is misleading. The FBI strongly discourages the use of its national crime data for ranking purposes, in part because the way data is gathered can vary greatly from city to city, depending on the interpretation of the reporting guidelines.

"They are called uniform crime reporting, but they're not all uniform in terms of how police departments interpret the rules and record the data," said James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

Simply crunching all the different crime categories to come up with an overall crime number isn't a good indicator of how dangerous a city is, he said. By tabulating it that way, a murder counts the same as a theft in the overall tally. It also means that a city could have a murder problem, but still look good overall if it had low recorded property crime."

Fox also said it is problematic to come up with a crime rate based on a city's resident population because some cities have large numbers of people who commute to work or visit.

"The resident population may not be a good indicator as to how many people are at risk," he said.

Dallas police readily acknowledge that changes to the department's reporting practices contributed greatly to the decrease in the city's reported crime numbers.


Changing the system



Kunkle began changing the department's offense reporting system about three years ago. He believed the system was broken, with too many incidents that were not actual crimes being recorded as such. He also found that Dallas wasn't following commonly used reporting practices, making the city look worse in comparison to its peers.



Early in 2007, the department changed how it recorded aggravated assaults after finding that officers were incorrectly recording offenses.

Later that year, the department started requiring individuals who report their vehicles stolen to sign affidavits, a change that police officials say has dramatically reduced the incidents of people falsely reporting their vehicles as stolen.

That same year, police officials found that they hadn't been following the FBI's guidelines on reporting many property crimes such as theft or car burglaries. In some cases, the rules allow multiple crimes to be reported as a single criminal act.

Without one recent procedural change, for example, Dallas' crime figures would have dropped about 7 percent last year, rather than the 10 percent that was recorded. That procedural change also continues to affect the city's crime numbers.

Downward trend



But crime is trending downward sharply, even without the reporting changes.

Last week, The Dallas Morning News reported that a 17.5 percent drop in overall crime would have actually been about 12.5 percent without the change.

The dubious distinction of being No. 1 in crime among major cities, first reported about six years ago, played a part in the firing of Police Chief Terrell Bolton and caused consternation among city officials who feared the ranking would scare away businesses and hamper economic development. It also helped prompt the city to pour resources into the manpower-strapped department.

Leppert and other city officials believe that getting more boots on the ground has played a crucial role in helping drive down the city's crime numbers. The city now has about 3,500 police officers, about 600 more than in 2004. Dallas now has about 2.7 officers per thousand residents, placing it ever closer to reaching the longtime goal of three officers per thousand.

Even facing a tough fiscal crunch, city officials plan to add 200 more police officer positions to the force in the next budget year.

"People will come up to you and say, 'I saw a police officer patrolling my neighborhood. I never used to see that,"' Leppert said. "Clearly, we've had some terrific results in terms of the reduction in crime. But I want to make sure that we continue this."

Many criminal justice experts believe that because so many other crime categories can be subject to reporting vagaries, murder is the best indicator of a city's performance.

On that front, Dallas continues to do very well. The city ended last year with 170 murders, a 15 percent decline from the prior year's tally. The city is on track to record about 150 murders this year, which would be the lowest number in at least 40 years.

In San Antonio, a police spokesman said he could not comment on his city's rise in the rankings. But he attributed a spike in property-related crime, such as thefts, to the tremendous population growth the city continues to experience. San Antonio's overall crime jumped about 17 percent last year, fueled in large part by an increase of 10,000 theft offenses.

"We really haven't felt the crunch of the economy," Officer Joe Rios said. "We're still building homes and growing at a fast rate. We're seeing construction sites being burglarized. Metal theft also increased our numbers through the first part of the year."

The FBI is expected to release comprehensive crime statistics for American cities next week.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 6:06 PM
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Oh boy, that sounds like a great label. It hasn't stopped people from coming to Dallas, so I don't expect them to stop moving here. But still, I can just see a bunch of reports already discussing the mediocrity of our police force.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 6:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbeiter View Post
For whatever reason, none of the San Antonio area websites or newspapers seem to have reported that San Antonio is now #1 in crime rate for all cities above 1 million - it used to be Dallas, but Dallas dropped to #2.
The Express-News doesn't seem to shy away from reporting crime, as you've seen if you actually read it. Although, the ranking of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston as the top 3 is a bit surprising.

edit:
Take that back since there are only 9 cities that have populations of over 1 million: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, and Dallas.

Looking at that list I'm not as surprised Texas takes the top 3, but the "PH"s must round out the top 5.

Last edited by kornbread; May 27, 2009 at 6:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 6:43 PM
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Oh no!!! Run for the hills!! Oh wait, so now Dallas wants to be counted as a city and not the metro. I wonder what those number looks like for Houston and Dallas?

It's all a part of living in a large city. Someone has to be first, too bad its us. Although statistics can sometimes be a little misleading. We added numbers to our city, not so much the metro.
Whatever makes you (Dallas) feel better though.

Yay!! We're second in crime!!

It's also funny though because for the past few months, I've been hearing about "all this crime that the illegals and drug cartels are bringing over" to Phoenix. The way they put out their reports, it sounded like they were 2nd to Juarez in murders and kidnappings.... Guess not.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 7:26 PM
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Not surprised.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 7:44 PM
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So it seems because new development is occuring in San Antonio, vandalism is up in those areas which has lead to an increase in the crime rate for San Antonio. Am I getting that right?
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  #7  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 9:03 PM
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What with AT&T and the Spurs losing to the Mavs, its about time we took something from Dallas
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  #8  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 2:35 AM
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^^^ haha yes!
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  #9  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 3:54 AM
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I scoured the Express News and the Sac bizjournal and didn't see anything. I am not ashamed to say I don't regularly read it I just found it odd that the only way this statistic has been prefaced is in relation to Dallas dropping a rank, not San Antonio gaining one.

And the quote about it being an issue of San Antonio having good economic fortune is silly - it is illogical, because crime would have spiked dramatically in 2006 or 2007 when SA was posting much larger increases in metropolitan GDP. I just thought it was interesting, I was genuinely surprised to see SA be ranked #1.
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Old Posted May 28, 2009, 5:24 AM
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Thats because sapd is more worried about giving to tickets to mothers driving thier children to school then the people robbing rapping and killing people
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  #11  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Or simply put, this is a "ranking" for cities over 1 million only* and Dallas changed the way they report crime helping to reduce their overall ranking. Maybe SA will do that and we'll drop behind Dallas and Houston. Yay! Then we'll really show them.

But we won't expect Arb to come in here posting the MYSA article stating it and complaining the DMN and Chron didn't cover it I bet.


It's interesting that you only bold the sentences that help denigrate San Antonio. Funny, you for these:

Quote:
Dallas police readily acknowledge that changes to the department's reporting practices contributed greatly to the decrease in the city's reported crime numbers.
Quote:
Early in 2007, the department changed how it recorded aggravated assaults after finding that officers were incorrectly recording offenses.

Later that year, the department started requiring individuals who report their vehicles stolen to sign affidavits, a change that police officials say has dramatically reduced the incidents of people falsely reporting their vehicles as stolen.

That same year, police officials found that they hadn't been following the FBI's guidelines on reporting many property crimes such as theft or car burglaries. In some cases, the rules allow multiple crimes to be reported as a single criminal act.

Without one recent procedural change, for example, Dallas' crime figures would have dropped about 7 percent last year, rather than the 10 percent that was recorded. That procedural change also continues to affect the city's crime numbers.
Hey, if Dallas wants off number 1 on this ineffective list so badly so be it.

* It's a very misleading title. They stat it's a ranking for cities over 1 million. There's only 9 cities with over one million in population. Why would you present the list in that fashion? Why start at 1 million? Don't most "large" city lists/rankings begin at half a million?

Last edited by sirkingwilliam; May 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM.
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Old Posted May 28, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbeiter View Post
And the quote about it being an issue of San Antonio having good economic fortune is silly - it is illogical
Is it as silly and illogical as your reading comprehension because no post in this thread says anything about "good economic fortune."
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  #13  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 7:07 PM
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http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc..._in_Texas.html

MYSA has the story on the front page now.

Crime and police corruption have risen since McManus became chief. The fiasco surrounding his time as Dayton police chief and the resulting $1.2 million lawsuit should have been enough for the city to realize the low quality he would bring. In case you couldn't tell I'm not a big fan of McManus or the laws he has tried to get passed.

His comments during the Erica Smith case and the discrimination lawsuit brought against the city from his actions also helped tarnish his image.

As I mentioned in another forum his first year (06-07) saw a 5.6% increase in the crime rate, and while he saw a decrease of 3.1% in violent crimes his 2nd year (07-08) there was an 11.2% increase in property crimes. This recent news should be enough for the city to start searching for a new chief!
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 9:22 PM
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Being the statistics geek that I am, I keep track of the murders for Austin and San Antonio. Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston are harder to keep track of. They seem to not report murders as thoroughly. Austin murders are always reported on big time since they're fairly rare here. I know the article above and new ranking is taking other crimes into account, such as theft/burglary. The numbers include city, county and metro and are listed separately.

I keep track of and post the updates in the thread below, complete with a chart of intricate data and a map showing the approximate location. I only use the block number of the street to pinpoint the locations since I want to respect their privacy. Another forumer in that thread also posts a chart compiling the numbers for all the cities into one chart for comparison.

City Murder Rates
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...36088&page=135



As you can see, murders happen everywhere. They aren't "in the bad side of town". They can happen just about anywhere. Typically central areas do better. I don't know if that's because they have better access to hospitals, or some other variable. It's rare to have murders in downtown, though San Antonio did record one this year with one just outside the central library. Most murders seem to happen along major corridors, especially within a few blocks of a major freeway.


Austin's data:




A comparative chart that is done by forumer AveryStreet in the City Murder Rates thread.

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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc..._in_Texas.html

MYSA has the story on the front page now.

Crime and police corruption have risen since McManus became chief. The fiasco surrounding his time as Dayton police chief and the resulting $1.2 million lawsuit should have been enough for the city to realize the low quality he would bring. In case you couldn't tell I'm not a big fan of McManus or the laws he has tried to get passed.

His comments during the Erica Smith case and the discrimination lawsuit brought against the city from his actions also helped tarnish his image.

As I mentioned in another forum his first year (06-07) saw a 5.6% increase in the crime rate, and while he saw a decrease of 3.1% in violent crimes his 2nd year (07-08) there was an 11.2% increase in property crimes. This recent news should be enough for the city to start searching for a new chief!
I can see you have a biased opinion of Chief McManus. His first year was right after Katrina when all cities that took in large amount of evacuees had a rise in crime. That's unfair to criticize him for the rise in crime.

Also, your statement that crime has increased since he became chief is incorrect. That's too much of a blanket statement as is inaccurate.

If you look at any crime data stats for SA, murders increased the most in 2006.. This being the year Katrina was felt and since then. I don't want to blame Katrina evacuees but it's too suspicious to be coincidental.

Also, McManus reported that the new data used to determine the list took into account 13 months for SA while only 12 months for the rest of Texas which is a big reason SA is number 1.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 1:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
Is it as silly and illogical as your reading comprehension because no post in this thread says anything about "good economic fortune."
You are either lazy or not even aware that you have an involuntary reflex when something you perceive as anti SA is said.

"We really haven't felt the crunch of the economy," Officer Joe Rios said. "We're still building homes and growing at a fast rate. We're seeing construction sites being burglarized. Metal theft also increased our numbers through the first part of the year."

If he's not using San Antonio's relative economic buoyancy as an excuse for the increased crime rate (which is again illogical) then what is he saying? Since apparently I made this whole economic excuse up, what is he referring to?
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 3:41 AM
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Quote:
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You are either lazy or not even aware that you have an involuntary reflex when something you perceive as anti SA is said.

"We really haven't felt the crunch of the economy," Officer Joe Rios said. "We're still building homes and growing at a fast rate. We're seeing construction sites being burglarized. Metal theft also increased our numbers through the first part of the year."

If he's not using San Antonio's relative economic buoyancy as an excuse for the increased crime rate (which is again illogical) then what is he saying? Since apparently I made this whole economic excuse up, what is he referring to?

Yeah, he(officer Rios) shouldn't "look" for excuses, or think about how he words them. If anything, it would be becuase of a slight slowdown that you see more burglary since sites sit still longer than before, equipment just sits around longer or because it is a bit slower, crews take the equipment or supplies, pawn it or sell it for scrap and the company replaces it by reporting it and filing an insurance claim.

Stats are always funny, sometimes people just feel like committing crimes. Could it be higher unemployment rate? Differences in racial makeup? Income per household? Education level of population? Alcohol consumption? Repeat offenders? Lack of jail space.

Actually, thats an interesting point I brought up (if I do say so myself.) Wasn't there a story about overcrowding at County a couple weeks ago and hasn't it been a problem the last few years?? I would imagine it got worse as our population went up.
Well what if they are releasing "petty" criminals becuase lack of room, and these guys go out and do more?

You can find any other stat and try to line the two up and compare and speculate, but sometimes its safe to say that it just happens.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 31, 2009, 6:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
I can see you have a biased opinion of Chief McManus.
It couldn't be because of the sentence where I mentioned I don't like McManus could it?

He is trash and hasn't done anything positive for the city. If we can cough up that $$ for a great city manager why can't we hire a decent police chief?

Kev, that data shows how few murders occur in NW San Antonio (Bandera to 281 outside of 410). The one near UTSA was when a student killed a tow truck driver.

The Stone Oak area saw only one murder as well, being a doctor killed by a deranged patient's husband. Knowing the areas you can clearly see a correlation between home values and murders. Notice how zero murders took place in high-end gated communities such as The Dominion?
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 6:41 AM
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He is trash and hasn't done anything positive for the city.
He's trash? Please comprehensively explain why?

Seriously, it's like he stole your lunch money or something.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 6:47 AM
tgannaway89 tgannaway89 is offline
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Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
He's trash? Please comprehensively explain why?

Seriously, it's like he stole your lunch money or something.
Under his watch the city has had several embarrassing cases of police corruption. His comments are often arrogant and offensive (mine are too, but I'm not a city official ). We've seen an increase in crime (were #1 in something now at least). I would like SA to be the best it CAN be and he is dragging us down. Sorry, I just think we can find somebody better. Send him back to Dayton. Wait... he wasn't legally the police chief. Anyone wonder why he was only with Minneapolis for 2 years? We deserve better!
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