If everything is bigger here in Texas, why should our Texas Criminal Law system be any different? Turns out, it isn't. Although, that's for good and for bad....
1. Good News, Bad News: Overall, the crime rate fell in 2015, but the violent crime rate had risen. Homicides were up by more than nine percent, rapes by more than four percent. That bucked national trends, where violent crime has fallen nearly everywhere else.
2. Fewer Arrests: Arrests have been going down, too. Juvenile arrests fell by nearly nine percent, and arrests of adults fell by more than five percent.
3. Country, Not Town: From 2014 and 2015, crime dropped dramatically in Texas' five largest cities, but homicides spiked 23 percent in Houston, eight percent in Dallas, and seven percent in Fort Worth. Overall violent crime was actually down in Houston, by two percent. San Antonio saw the largest spike in violent crime, at 12 percent.
1. A Capital City: Austin saw the most dramatic fall in crime. Homicides fell by 33 percent, violent crime fell by nine percent, and the overall crime rate fell by 10 percent. Meanwhile...
2. Oh, Odessa: According to a 2016 analysis of crime, police presence and other socioeconomic predictors, Odessa was the state's most dangerous city.
3. Guns... Don't mess with Texas gun laws. There were nearly 44,000 convictions for firearms offenses in 2015.
4. Cops On the Beat: In Plano, the rate of officers to population is just 11.9 to 10,000. By contrast, in Dallas, there are 28.1 police officers per 10,000 people. And both of those figures are far fewer than in other U.S. cities. In Washington, D.C., New Orleans and St. Louis, the rates are 65.6, 40.8 and 38.4 officers per 10,000, respectively.
5. An Injured Thin Blue Line: While the winter's tragic events are still fresh in our minds, the less well known reality is that, in 2015, 4,310 Texas Law Enforcement Officers were assaulted while in the line of duty.