Community talks safety after Abilene shooting

The Abilene community spoke about safety issues after a number of violent crimes.

ABILENE, TX - Over the weekend bullets flew at an Abilene hotel, which made some question safety in Abilene.

The Executive Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts spoke with Fox 15.

The office is also in the downtown area.

“The center’s been here for 30 years and we’ve watched crowds come and go,” Darla Harmon said.

Harmon said the area’s growing.

“With more businesses, more restaurants and bars open, of course we’re going to have more people,” Harmon added.

Harmon said this simply means taking more precaution.

“We can no longer be that small town that leaves their front door unlocked,” Harmon said.

Abilene Police said violent crimes are up 20% over the last year.

The Abilene Police spoke with Fox 15 via email.

Public Information Officer Rick Tomlin shared the following information:

Previously the Mayor has communicated a citywide strategy for addressing crime that the Police Department fully supports. Below is an excerpt from previously shared information:

“Over a year ago the “Accept, Collaborate, and Take Action” (ACT) called each of us to accept responsibility, to collaborate on finding solutions, and to take action. Crime is a disease; we must find a cure. Crime is not the failure of law enforcement, any more than a fire indicates the failure of our firefighters. It is not a “they” and “them” problem; it is a “we” and “us” problem.” - Mayor Anthony Williams

Chief of Police, Stan Standridge said he agrees with Mayor Williams. 

He said he was saddened Sunday to learn about the shooting of a 15-year old juvenile.

He was saddened further to learn that he was shot by an alleged 17-year old suspect.

Standridge said the shooting at the Civic Plaza Hotel was violent and shocks the conscience. 

He added that it is not representative of the thousands of citizens in Abilene who are law abiding and want nothing more than to safety live, recreate, work, and raise their families. 

He said when police learn of such violence, the investigations will be thorough and presented to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of formal charges. 

The Executive Director of Connecting Caring communities is working to bring the community together.

“That, that shouldn’t happen. That shouldn’t happen in Abilene. That shouldn’t happen anywhere,” Terry Cagle said.

He is trying more now than ever to make sure people get to know their neighbors through their ‘Neighbor 2 Neighbor’ program.

It’s more than a neighborhood watch.

He said it’s about getting to know who lives around you and neighboring businesses.

“We all know to wave at them, ‘hi.’” But to actually know their name, know their children, know who lives in the home,” Cagle said.

© 2017 KXVA-TV


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