Aug 22, 2023 - News

Dallas viewed as safest large U.S. city, Gallup poll finds

Share who say they consider a place safe to live or visit, by select U.S. city
Data: Gallup; Note: Each city rated by half of the sample; Chart: Axios Visuals

Dallas is considered the safest of 16 large U.S. cities in a new Gallup poll, which ranks Chicago and Detroit as the least safe.

Why it matters: Perception mostly mirrors reality in Dallas, where the mayor and police chief have been touting a drop in violent crime as an example of the success of the city's crime-reduction plan.

Details: The poll found that 74% of respondents viewed Dallas as safe, ranking it just ahead of Boston.

  • That's an increase from 2006, when 69% of people polled by Gallup said they thought the city was safe. That was the last time the same cities were ranked.

The intrigue: The poll found strong partisan differences on safety perceptions, with Democrats much more likely to view a city as safe.

  • For example, 64% of Democrat respondents view Los Angeles as safe compared with 21% of Republicans.
  • Dallas was the only city to be viewed as safe by more Republicans than Democrats.

State of play: Police chief Eddie Garcia was tasked with reducing violent crime when he joined the department in 2021.

  • His plan focuses largely on hot-spot policing, which increases patrols in high-crime areas.

Zoom in: Overall reported crime this year in Dallas is down almost 2% through July compared with the same period in 2022, per city data. Violent crimes, including aggravated assaults, are down almost 11%.

  • Yes, but: Car thefts are up 34% this year. Many other cities have also had increasing numbers of car thefts.

What they're saying: "The way the crime-reduction strategy works is to reduce gun-related aggravated assaults, that's the number one tell of violence in the city," Garcia told CBS11.

The big picture: Violent crime is ticking down nationwide but remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

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