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With A Month And A Half Remaining In The Year, 220 Homicides Have Already Been Reported In Dallas Throughout 2020 — The City’s Largest Count Since 2004.

Following a week of rampant violence in Dallas — one that included the murder of one prominent Dallas rapper, the shooting of an even-higher profile collaborator of that victim and a 36-hour stretch filled with at least 13 shootings that left seven dead — the Dallas Police Department’s top brass hosted a virtual press conference on Monday, November 16, to address violent crime in the city.

There’s certainly cause for concern: At the time of Monday’s conference, a total of 220 homicides had already been reported in Dallas in 2020 — this with a month and a half remaining in the year. That figure is up from 2019’s figure of 210 homicides. It is also already the highest annual homicide figure Dallas has seen since 2004’s count of 248 homicides. (The highest per-year homicide number in Dallas history remains 1991’s staggering count of 500.)

Speaking to what she called an “alarming increase” in homicides across the city on Monday, outgoing police chief U. Renee Hall blamed a “perfect storm of events” — one that she says includes city anger and irresponsibility, frustration over the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the separate plague of illegal gun ownership.

Just as concerning is that Hall and her team said a number of the recent homicides it has been investigating appear to be more “random” than usual, with these criminal acts appearing to happen in “more stranger-to-stranger” scenarios than usually expected.

“We are in a horrific and tragic state,” Hall at one point said of the city’s homicide trends.

To counter these concerns, the department is taking a number of “proactive” steps in a new “all-hands-on-deck” direction to its policing. Most notably, DPD will focus its resources on four “hotspots” of crime activity across the city. Although Hall declined to name these parts of town, she said these targeted areas will see an influx in police presence, with officers from the fugitive, gang and SWAT units joining other beat cops in their patrols. Once in place, these officers will then engage in a “full-court press” that will involve knocking on doors, engaging with the community and attempting to get illegals guns off the street. DPD will also partner with federal agencies to “interview the guns” it recovers to trace their usage and determine ownership histories.

Though not present at the Monday meeting, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called the increases in violent crime this year “alarming” and “unacceptable” in social media posts shared later in the day.

As DPD works to address this issue, it’s worth zooming out some to get a greater sense of how 2020’s homicide figures compare to the city’s historical rates.

To that end, we present the below year-by-year (and decade-by-decade) looks at homicide counts in Dallas dating back to 1930. The 1930 through 2014 figures come from DPD’s own reports; the more recent figures come from readily available counts published elsewhere.

It is important to note that these numbers only represent homicides reported to and by the Dallas Police Department. They also do not include these crimes’ clearance rates, nor the popular murders-per-1,000-people statistic used to offer important perspective on these matters.

This is just the raw data, presented in its purest forms.

Dallas’ average per-year homicide count by decade:

  • 1930s: 55.7
  • 1940s: 67.1
  • 1950s: 72.9
  • 1960s: 134.8
  • 1970s: 229.5
  • 1980s: 317.3
  • 1990s: 309.1
  • 2000s: 203.9
  • 2010s: 157.3

Dallas’ annual homicide counts for each year from 1930 through 2020*:

  • 1930: 20
  • 1931: 30
  • 1932: 56
  • 1933: 52
  • 1934: 49
  • 1935: 62
  • 1936: 105
  • 1937: 82
  • 1938: 47
  • 1939: 54
  • 1940: 59
  • 1941: 67
  • 1942: 62
  • 1943: 64
  • 1944: 72
  • 1945: 69
  • 1946: 81
  • 1947: 75
  • 1948: 62
  • 1949: 60
  • 1950: 59
  • 1951: 56
  • 1952: 62
  • 1953: 80
  • 1954: 78
  • 1955: 74
  • 1956: 81
  • 1957: 66
  • 1958: 82
  • 1959: 91
  • 1960: 91
  • 1961: 99
  • 1962: 103
  • 1963: 113
  • 1964: 149
  • 1965: 116
  • 1966: 120
  • 1967: 133
  • 1968: 192
  • 1969: 232
  • 1970: 242
  • 1971: 207
  • 1972: 192
  • 1973: 230
  • 1974: 196
  • 1975: 237
  • 1976: 230
  • 1977: 224
  • 1978: 230
  • 1979: 307
  • 1980: 319
  • 1981: 298
  • 1982: 306
  • 1983: 268
  • 1984: 294
  • 1985: 301
  • 1986: 347
  • 1987: 323
  • 1988: 366
  • 1989: 351
  • 1990: 447
  • 1991: 500
  • 1992: 387
  • 1993: 317
  • 1994: 295
  • 1995: 276
  • 1996: 217
  • 1997: 209
  • 1998: 252
  • 1999: 191
  • 2000: 231
  • 2001: 240
  • 2002: 169
  • 2003: 226
  • 2004: 248
  • 2005: 202
  • 2006: 187
  • 2007: 200
  • 2008: 170
  • 2009: 166
  • 2010: 148
  • 2011: 133
  • 2012: 154
  • 2013: 143
  • 2014: 116
  • 2015: 136
  • 2016: 171
  • 2017: 166
  • 2018: 196
  • 2019: 210
  • 2020: 220*

*through November 16

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