WACO, Texas — The Waco Police Department is sharing its plan to reduce violent crime as the city faces an increase in murder and gun violence.
Thirteen lives have been lost to violence in Waco since the beginning of the year. Many of those incidents were tied to domestic violence or gang-related violence.
Police chief Sheryl Victorian presented the department's "Violent Crime Strategic Response" plan to the city council on Tuesday.
The plan is divided into several pillars, including prevention, intervention, and crime reduction & apprehension. Tactics to reduce violent crime include outreach programs for youth, increased patrol on nights and weekends by street crime units, and adopting new tools, such as gunshot detection technology and automated license plate readers to track down suspects.
The department also shared messages from Victorian and Waco mayor Dillon Meek on social media.
"Using a firearm recklessly to scare, injure or kill to solve a conflict is not the answer. And we will continue to hold suspects accountable for their actions," Victorian reassured community members.
The plan notes that in addition to the 13 murders, there have been 40 incidents of deadly conduct, which includes shootings without victims. The city has also reported 123 stolen weapons this year.
Police and community leaders are pleading with community members to help them in their mission to crack down on violent crime.
"Local police officers can't do it alone. They need us to stand together and help," Meek said.
To view the full strategic response plan and the department's presentation, visit the police department's website.