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A 14-year-old is the latest homicide victim in Dallas; but police chief says violent crime is down for first time in nearly 5 years

Violent crime down 8.5% so far this year, including robberies, homicides and aggravated assaults.

DALLAS — A 14-year-old girl was the latest murder victim in Dallas, police said Friday. She was found on Merrifield Road on Wednesday morning.

Police said she was last seen at an apartment complex the day before with the suspect, 22-year-old Tyrone Davis, who has been arrested. 

According to an arrest affidavit, police said the teen had previously, "…made a police report on Dec. 10, stating suspect Davis pointed a gun at her.” 

Dallas Chief Eddie Garcia said the teen’s death is tragic and the department is working hard to try and prevent more of these tragedies. 

”There are no excuses, whether it’s short staffing or... crime is everywhere. You have to have a plan. Your community deserves a plan. Your officers need a plan,” said Garcia. 

Since May, the department has been targeting hot spots in some of the most violent areas where they have the most violent criminals, particularly at apartment complexes.

RELATED: New statistics show violent crime is dropping in Dallas; SWAT shares how crime plan is working 

“Based on the plan we have in place that is more focused, we are seeing some results. As a department, we have to concentrate to reduce the incidents, which lead us to reduce the victims,” said Garcia. 

The department said overall, crime is down 8.5% -- that means about 1,000 fewer victims, so far this year. 

Homicides are down nearly 12%, according to the department.  

Dallas is one of the few major cities in the U.S. seeing a drop in violent crime. According to DPS’ statics, Austin and San Antonio are projected to have their highest murder rates in nearly 10 years.  

Garcia credits his crime plan but also the work of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department.

“We are dropping in violent crime, and again, it’s a support that these men and women get, and the work they are doing every day,” said Garcia. 

WFAA asked Garcia if Dallas Police is using the same method to count crimes as they did in previous years. 

”The methodology in 2021, when violent crime is reducing, is the same methodology that was used in 2020, when crime was increasing,” said Garcia. 

Not only is Dallas Police dropping in violent crime, but Garcia said the department is also making fewer arrests, yet taking more drugs and guns off the streets. He said it’s because they are targeting those violent offenders.

“The message is we are actually arresting the right people. They commit most of the crimes," said Garcia. 

Garcia said targeting hot spots is just one part of a three-part plan. The next step involves working with the community to rebuild neighborhoods that are traditionally violent. 

“Some of these neighborhoods did not get like this overnight. We are not going to get out of it overnight," said Garcia. 

With two weeks left in the year, Dallas is on track to have its lowest crime rate in nearly five years. 

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