Alice Police Department Reports Drop in Violence in 2013 - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Alice Police Department Reports Drop in Violence in 2013

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ALICE (Kiii News) -

The numbers are in, and the Alice Police Department is reporting a very good year. They say crime is down significantly in almost every category.

As we reported at the time, 2012 was a very rough year for the city of Alice; but in 2013, things improved dramatically, with the overall crime rate going down big time.

That's especially true when looking at violent crimes. Assaults are down, and in 2012 there were 10 murders, while in 2013 there were none.

What has increased is how often people are calling the police department through 911. Alice Police Chief Randy Weems said that fact shows that citizens are more willing to trust the police to come out and help them.

You may remember how violence plagued Alice in previous years, with some 11 murders happening between 2011 and 2012. The majority of those murders were gang related, but since then, by working with citizens and informants, and by targeting gang members and focusing on drug interdiction, the police department has decreased the number of murders to zero.

"When we hear on the streets that something is brewing, we actually proactively go out there and try and contact the people that may be involved, and I think we deter a lot of crime by doing that," Weems said.

"Well, what we did was, we created a gang unit consisting of two police officers, and that's all they do, is just concentrate on the local gangs," said Interim Lt. David Espinoza of the Alice Police Department.

Police say that sometimes, when gangs think other gangs are out for them, they tend to build their rivalries and things continue to fester until they reach some sort of trigger point and violence explodes; but what Alice police have been doing is arresting gang members before that violence happens, or convincing them not to commit violence.

Of those gang-related murder suspects that were arrested and charged in 2012, police say all of them have been convicted except for one, for whom trial is still pending.

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