Waco police react to 2016 FBI crime report statistics

Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 19:01:15-04

The FBI has released its annual crime report for 2016. The statistics include violent crime and property crime, along with a variety of other offenses.

Rebecca Stinnett is a Waco native and loves playing with her granddaughter at Cameron Park.

"I come down here probably three times a week," said Stinnett. "It's freedom, it's what I was raised on."

She considers the park a safe place, one of many she's visited in Waco over the years.

"There's plenty of activity, there's plenty of people, there's plenty of cop patrol, plenty of horse patrol," Stinnett said.

"We try to keep our officers on the same beat all the time," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, spokesperson for Waco Police Department. "That way they are more familiar with their surroundings, they're more familiar with what is commonplace in their area and those kinds of trends so we can get on top of things quickly."

The FBI crime report for 2016 shows a lot of improvement for Waco. Murder, assault and property crime have decreased since 2015. Violent crimes have stayed the same, but rape is on the rise. Swanton said the increase is due to a change in the definition of sexual assault.

"We've always said we don't take credit for the decrease, and we don't necessarily take credit for the increases in crime because criminals do what criminals do," said Swanton.

Swanton said the FBI numbers fluctuate each year, which is why Waco police rely on its own internal statistics.

"We like to use them more on a day-by-day or a monthly or a weekly basis because we feel like we can maybe make some difference if we see an increase in robberies in a particular area," Swanton said.

As Waco's population grows, Swanton hopes additional officers are added to the team and that citizens continue to do their part.

"When I see something, I'm going to be the one that calls Waco PD or I'm going to take care of it and pack up my family and I'm going home to our safe zone," said Stinnett.

To see the crime report statistics for your city, click here:

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