AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Police Department is trying to combat a trend in violent crime nationwide.
“What I do know, nationwide, just in general we are seeing an uptrend in violent crimes, I don’t know if they are looking at the age groups or not. But this year we are looking at a higher number of homicides than in a decade at least. But that is a nationwide trend, so violent crimes overall have seemed to go up in the recent past and that’s a nationwide trend,” said Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department.
Over the past few years, Amarillo has seen a steady rate of violent crimes in the city, with 2020 having 385 arrests and this year’s number at 350 to date.
The city has seen an increase in homicides. APD said there were 16 in 2019, 15 last year, and more than 20 so far for this year.
“But we do stay pretty consistent in Amarillo with our numbers and even if they did go up in 2019. They did go down in 2020. But we did know why,” said Sgt. Burr.
With some under the age of 21 being recently charged with committing crimes, Sgt. Burr said they are always trying to reach out to the youth and pivot them from criminal behaviors.
“We want to see these kids grow up in our community and some of them we want to come work with us when we decide to retire,” added Sgt. Burr.
She added that the community can also help in these efforts as well.
“After school programs, athletics, choir, band, speech, clubs, all of those things and different youth organizations. There are going to be signs of them asking for help before they get to the point before they are getting arrested by us,” said Sgt. Burr.
Sgt. Burr added that promoting dangerous TikTok or internet trends like the milk crate challenge or the devious licks challenge does nothing to help promote growth in teens.
Sgt. Burr said even though we are seeing an increase in some crime, things like property crime has gone down.