Thursday marks the one year anniversary of Ty Morrow taking over as Bryan Police Chief. He says his first year has flown by, and has been full of change for his department and the city.
From the start of his tenure one year ago, Morrow has made it a point to talk to the community. It's paying dividends, he says.
"[The citizens] say that they see that these men and women (officers) are taking the fight to the criminals, because we know there's just a small amount of individuals involved in most of the crime in the city," Morrow said.
Looking at the latest crime statistics for the city, a citizen's first reaction might not be so optimistic. Comparing this year's numbers through July to last year's totals at the same point, and robberies, burglaries, theft and auto theft are all up. Morrow isn't the kind to say, "I told you so," but...
"'Our numbers are going to go through the roof,' I think were my exact words," said Morrow said. "I said, 'Don't let that going through the roof be an acknowledgment that there's more crime and disorder taking place in this city.'"
Morrow credits his Neighborhood Enforcement Team, created under his tenure, for creating stronger trust with community members, who in turn, have reported crime more accurately.
"We're identifying who the target and the bad guys are, so now, we're going after them, trying to put them in jail," Morrow said.
Now, property crimes are the focus. Numbers comparing this year so far to last show an 82 percent increase in stolen property. That's why another new creation of Morrow's, the VIPER unit, will be working with businesses and educated the public in the coming months.
"Let's talk about you not leaving your purse or your briefcase in your car," Morrow said. "Let's talk about you not leaving cash in your cash register when you close down your business at night. I think that's the new direction we're moving into."
As for the most difficult aspect of his job so far, Chief Morrow says its matters of personnel. He can't talk specifics, though specifically, changes at the top of his administration with assistant chiefs and the suspension of a long-serving sergeant have made headlines.
"When the day is over, I've got to make the right decision based on the people that I chose to lead, and on behalf of the citizens of Bryan," Morrow said. "I do that, and I pray on it. I think on it. I ponder on it. I get consulting from my executive staff on it, and then I make the final decision I think that's best, and sometimes, that negatively impacts individuals profoundly, but still, for me, that's tough."
Weather permitting, Chief Morrow will join News 3 Sunday night live in studio to discuss the future for Bryan PD.