Between June and August of 2008, the Dallas Police Department recorded 30 homicides -- 17 fewer than in '07, a stunning 33 fewer than in 2006. Even ABC News took note of the news, particularly the "astonishing low of eight homicides in July." But last summer's dip will, most likely, turn out to be an anomaly: DPD said today that where there were but 10 murders in Dallas last June, this year the department handled 17.
"That is a number consistent historically with what we experience in the month of June," says Dallas police Lt. Craig Miller, commander of the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit. "Historically speaking, July should be around 17. Last year was low. ... History dictates that our numbers this summer will not be as low as last summer."
Miller insists, of course, this is not a cause for alarm. When you are dealing with statistics, it's normal to expect variations from one year to a next -- especially as homicide rates soared across the country throughout the '90s, only to begin dipping in recent years. And there comes a point when it becomes difficult to get a murder rate any lower, regardless of an increased police presence.
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"With so many of these senseless murders, it doesn't matter how many additional police officers" there are," he says. "Those random senseless acts are unpredictable."