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Amarillo Crime Rate Rising

The recent violent crime wave in Amarillo didn't increase the crime rate in the city. It was already on the rise.
AMARILLO -- Tuesday night's shootings are just the latest in a long line of violent crimes that have happened in Amarillo during the last month.

    If you're thinking the city's crime rate is up, you're right, it is.  It's up nearly 18% through July compared to last year.  But, that was before our recent crime wave.

    Up until last month, the homicide rate in Amarillo was way down.  But with five over the last month alone, we're already near our yearly average.

    Robbery numbers are also up nearly 29% through July of this year.  But, like the overall crime rate, the rise comes following a year where the rate went down.

    Police Sergeant Brent Barbee says while the crime rate is up, it's not nearly as bad as the perception people may have following a wave of high profile crimes over the last few weeks.  "If we have two or three homicides in a span of a couple of weeks, we'll get several calls, is the crime rate up, is the crime rate up? And it might be true that it is."  Barbee said.

    In this case it is up.  Sgt. Barbee says Amarillo's crime rate tends to skew higher than other Texas cities per 100,00 residents.

    Amarillo city commissioners mentioned our rising crime rate Tuesday in defending a proposed tax increase.  By raising taxes by 2 cents, they hope to add ten more officers to the force after adding 12 two years ago.

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