It's hard not to notice the headlines these days and the clips on the news, telling us of the violence happening in our community.
"I record the 4 o'clock news, the 5 o'clock, the evening news," says long-time Fort Worth resident Bobby Brown. And those recent headlines, he says, are weighing heavy.
"It's been really violent," he says.
Fort Worth Police confirm: it's not just perception.
"We've noticed there has been an increase in violent crime in certain areas of the city," says Sgt. Marc Povero.
Something that's really caught the attention of police is Fort Worth's homicide rate. Last year at this time, there were 21 homicides. This year, Fort Worth is already up to 29, including a murder this week outside the Ridgmar Mall. That's an increase of more than 25 percent from this time last year. Robberies are up more than 13 percent; aggravated assaults are up, too.
So, the Fort Worth Police Department is taking unprecedented measures to curtail the violence.
"We've created this violent crime task force to address the problem of rising violent crime," Povero says.
As of last week, 70 additional officers and detectives, who usually work in specialized units like narcotics and SWAT, are now on uniformed patrol, saturating areas that are seeing high crime. Police won't address which areas those are, adding the areas can change based on the computerized information that tracks crimes.
"What we can do is be visible in areas that see robberies and homicides and things of that nature to hopefully make somebody think twice about committing a crime," Povero says.
He adds that this task force will continue until police see a marked improvement in the crime rates.
"I'm happy to hear about that. They're proactive," Brown says.
While police work to figure out why this is happening, they'll also work to stop it from happening.
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