SHAVANO PARK, Texas—In the last few years, the Shavano Park Police Department has changed their way of fighting crime.
And it’s paid off. Authorities said crime is down by 60 percent in the small northside community.
Longtime resident Fred Hobbs said he loves living in Shavano Park. “It’s a nice neighborhood, quiet,” he said.
Hobbs said he feels safe in the community of just over 3,000 people. “I mean, sure, we have less crime than any other parts of the city,” he said.
And he’s right. From 2016 to 2018, crimes like burglary, theft, and robbery have gone down 60 percent. In 2016, the department received 249 criminal calls, and just two years later, in 2018, the number went down to 98.
Shavano Park Police Chief Ray Lacy said his officers are proactive in fighting crime, and don’t just wait for a call to come in for help.
“My officers are in the neighborhoods driving the streets talking with the citizens that are out finding out any concerns they have,” Lacy said.
According to Lacy, Officers logged over 100,000 miles in 2018, driving around neighborhoods in the mostly residential town of just over 3.2 square miles.
For skeptics who might say that it’s easier to keep criminals away in a small town, Lacy said the concept they’ve adopted isn’t new. “This type of policing is nothing new for any department. It's being back in the neighborhoods,” he said.
The city is also designated as a Crime Control and Prevention District, meaning a portion of sales tax goes toward public safety.
Lacy said the money is used for equipment, like high-tech infrared cameras, cars, and putting more officers on the streets. “I mean, the equipment is how we get the things done, but it's the officer on the street that make it work,” he said.
Neighbors appreciate the officers being visible in their neighborhoods to help fight crime. “We really enjoy here. We feel safe,” Hobbs said.