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El Paso Murder Rate Lowest in 23 Years

El Paso Police say, as of right now, the city’s murder rate is the lowest recorded for the first five months of any year since 1987.

The murder-suicide of an east El Paso elderly couple stands as 2010’s lone murder. This time last year, police were already investigating four murders.

Police add in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, murders were already averaging in the double digits by May, thanks to rampant drive-by shootings.

They say a lot has changed since then.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the way we work with the community,” said Crimes Against Persons Lt. Alfred Lowe. “The community has to get a lot of the credit.”

Lowe says since regional command centers were set up all over El Paso, it’s become easier for people to report crimes, taking criminals off the streets and dropping the rate of more serious crimes like murder.

He also credits local law enforcement agencies working together on things like warrant round-ups.

El Paso’s murder rate stands in stark contrast to that of Ciudad Jurez where the number of homicides is fast approaching 900 for the year.

Lowe says El Paso police are keeping an eye on the cartels.

“The situation in Jurez is being studied by the federal agencies, by the local agencies,” he told ABC-7. “We look for signs of spillover so that we can intervene before it becomes a homicide.”

Police say unlike Jurez, where drugs fuel most of the murders, El Paso’s homicides are mostly cases of domestic violence.

El Paso Police have a clearing percentage of 96 percent, according to police officials.

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