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Residents and city leaders are supporting a collaborative effort that they hope will decrease violent crime in Bryan. A recent study comparing Texas cities of the same size showed Bryan was third in the number of violent crimes reported.
Bryan Police Chief Michael Strope admits it's a trend that's continuing to grow.
"Violent crimes is a community problem, affecting all of us who reside in homes, children attending schools and who work here," says Chief Strope.
Violent crime consists of homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. It's the latter that's keeping Bryan at the top of the list among cities of its size when it comes to violent crimes.
In 2001 there were 325 aggravated assaults in Bryan. In just three years, that number nearly doubled.
"We're gonna do everything in our power to stop this growing trend and find reasonable solutions, so we won't be number five," says Strope.
"I think the idea of a focus group with the community is going to be very important, but I think the notions gonna be ultimately if institutions and others like churches and other community groups can come together and formalize our efforts," says Bryan resident Daniel Hernandez.
Police say decreasing violent crime is a top priority. Authorities plan to attack violent crime at its root. That means police will be more proactive when it comes to dealing with family violence and disorderly conduct offenses and they're looking for community input.
"We tend to have it contained to certain areas therefore can apply the solution to that area much more common. It’s not a widespread problem through out the community. The downside is that it’s affecting certain residents who live on west side of Bryan much more significantly than residential living in other parts of Bryan," says Chief Strope.
Statistics show violent crime is at its highest during July and August. Chief Strope says police already see the trend this summer. He hopes to reverse it with increased patrol and community involvement.
Two Town Hall meetings will be held in August and September to listen to residents’ concerns.