WAXAHACHIE

Efforts by Waxahachie Police officers have led to a drop in the overall crime across the city over the last year.

According to the 2018 Uniformed Crime Report, crimes around the city dropped to 35 in February 2017 — down from 65 the year before.

As a whole, the Waxahachie Police Department responded to 919 offenses in 2016, which reduced to 800 offenses in 2017.

Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby stated officers take a very proactive approach and work to stay ahead of trends. They achieve this by actively patrolling and having an open dialog with the public.

“What we have tried to do is encourage the patrol supervisors to watch for trends. We do a daily briefing where we post the activities that are going on,” Goolsby said. “They will put together a plan. I think that helps.”

Goolsby added as officers work to remain visible and alert for any potential crime that they might come across on patrol. This presence not only helps to promote safety throughout the community but also acts as a deterrent to criminal activity.

In February, officers had 1,630 calls for service. Of those calls, 58 arrests were made, and in three of those incidents, officers had to use force in making an arrest.

“We had three incidents involving the use of force for this month. In two of those incidents the suspect was taken to the ground to gain control,” Goolsby wrote in the monthly report. “The remaining incident involved the use of a taser when an agitated subject would not let an officer enter his apartment to check on the welfare of another occupant.”

Goolsby explained many of the calls for service involve disturbance or family violence where the situation is volatile when the officer arrived, but no arrest is made. He noted the low number of incidents where the use of force is required is indicative of de-escalation techniques being successfully enforced.

Arrests by Waxahachie officers totaled 1,147 in 2016 and 1,307 in 2017. Factors such as individuals arrested on outstanding warrants attribute to this increase in arrests.

Despite the drop in overall crime, vehicle theft is on the rise.

There were 52 stolen vehicles in 2016 and 71 in 2017. To combat this increase, the department is working with other agencies, sharing information, and watching trends.

Goolsby said there is currently no distinctive pattern linking the auto thefts and officers are working to address this issue. One method used to treat the problem is providing the public with more information to keep them safe and their vehicle safe.

A factor that has led to the reduction of the overall crime rate is the relationship the department has formed with the community. Outreach programs like citizens police academy and daily conversations with residents have helped to strengthen community ties.

Goolsby shared by officers getting to know the people they serve it opens up communication and allows information be shared freely. Officers also learn the regular activity that occurs in that neighborhood, which helps them to spot something that is out of place.

Goolsby added, overall, he feels that Waxahachie is a very safe community. The department works hard each day to keep it that way.

“I think the overall numbers as far as the crime rate is very good compared to most other cities. Our violent crime is certainly lower than most other cities. Our overall crime has been going down,” Goolsby stated. “ With all of the growth, it does require more officers than last year. There is a little time lag with getting people hired, through the police academy, and through the training process. You’ll see us growing, being proactive, looking at new businesses, and trying to identify any trend before they get going. That is what we are trying to do.”