- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - Dallas could be heading for a 10-year low in homicides that some experts say is partly due to new approaches to policing, an improving economy and better trauma care.

The Dallas Morning News reports (https://bit.ly/1AWy8iE ) that authorities have recorded 69 slayings so far in 2014, compared to 85 at the same point last year. If the trend continues, the city would have fewer than 120 homicides by the year’s end. There were 143 last year. The 10-year-high was 248 in 2004, and the decade low was 133 in 2011.

City Manager Ryan Evans said economic initiatives, like redeveloping rough areas, as well as policing crime hot spots, have helped cut crime overall. He said the city is “night and day” from where it was a decade ago and in the high-crime days of the 1980s and early 1990s, when the number of slayings topped 500.

Denise Paquette Boots, an associate criminology professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, said a bad economy can put a strain on families that can lead to domestic violence killings. Boots noted city efforts to increase resources and new strategies to combat domestic violence. She also credited Dallas’ trauma and emergency care.

Assistant Chief Randy Blankenbaker said there’s more work to be done.

“It’ll be a milestone, and we’ll talk about it, and it’s 120 people who lost their lives and it’s unacceptable,” Blankenbaker said. “We’ll never rest on the fact that we’ve had fewer murders.”

Still Blankenbaker said it’s difficult to pinpoint all the reasons for the city’s homicide drop.

“If we had all these answers, we could write books and be very rich,” he said.

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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