The lead headline on the front page of The Dallas Morning News’ Metro section this morning jumped out at me, and not in a good way: “Police presence drives down crime.”
You’re fucking kidding me!!! Does this mean the daily newspaper can definitively and objectively say, as the headline suggests, that an increased police presence is directly responsible for the 7 percent drop in crime so far this year? No, of course not, which is why it’s a carelessly written headline, if not an example of The DMN playing cheerleader for the cops, the city and Mayor Tom Leppert.
On the bright side, I’m happy to report that the citywide drop in reported crime is also evident in the area of Oak Lawn extending from the Dallas North Tollway southeast to Oak Lawn Avenue and Highland Park. After the recent hate crime robbery of Jimmy Lee Dean, I requested these numbers from DPD, and Neighborhood Police Officer Steve Fuentes was kind enough to provide them. In fact, Fuentes personally delivered them to Voice offices in his patrol car last week.
The numbers show that violent crimes were down by 51 percent through July 22 compared to last year in the area, and nonviolent crimes were down by 16 percent, for a total reduction of 21 percent. The only category that went up was residential burglary. There had been 70 residential burglaries through July 22 this year, compared with 64 last year.