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Rising violent crime means rising talk of change. And talk Bryan's west side residents did.
"This one is a very challenging issue for our community," said Bryan Police Chief Mike Strope.
A challenge Bryan PD wants community help on. For their first town hall meeting on violent crime, they chose the west side of town, where many violent crimes are taking place. Strope described the growing trends, and District Attorney Bill Turner gave the legal perspective.
"We start with looking at the numbers to see what they tell us, but that's not the whole story," Turner said. "I think the good news is that we can go out in the community and we have a receptive community that's welcome to share with us what's going on out there. So I think it makes all of us a little bit smarter."
And one by one, residents voiced their opinions on what they could do to help curb crime. As Strope pointed out, the majority of offenders are lower income young people. Parents and neighbors called for more programs to keep kids off the streets, more neighborhood watch programs, and increased police visability.
"I hope this is the first step of a continuing dialogue and communication involving all elements of our community," Strope said.
A second town hall on violent crime will be held at some point in the month of September, with time and location to be determined.