Abilene police are on a mission to cut down on crime in the North Abilene neighborhood of Holiday Hills. Just last week, a shooting in the neighborhood left a 12-year-old boy shot in the head and fighting for his life.
KTXS met with Abilene Chief of Police Stan Standridge and community activists Tuesday to discuss their plans in the neighborhood. They said lowering crime is just one of their goals. They also hope to build a sense of community and trust with residents.
"We [Abilene Police Department] have reached out to these non-profits. And businesses like Star Dodge and have asked: Can we be a member at this table as we seek community renewal?" Standridge said.
Though the neighborhood has seen high crime rates over the years, many residents said they are wary of law enforcement. In fact, not one witness called police after the shooting last week.
"The truth is there's a lot of distrust, which is why we're trying to build a relationship. The only way to build relationship is through time and investment," Standridge said.
Standridge hopes the police department's partnership with community activists will change the community's perception of the department.
"We'll all come together to communicate to Holiday Hills: You're not forgotten. We're gonna work alongside you as we all take a personal investment in this community," he said.
But the community itself also has a role to play.
"We believe that when neighbors know each other and talk and are connected with each other, they build up trust and neighborhoods become safer," said Lori Thornton, executive director of Connecting Care and Communities.
"You can change you can make a difference any part of the city can be great as long as we take responsibility for it," Pastor Chad Mitchell with Stop the Violence said.
Abilene police are working with members of Connecting Care and Communities, Stop the Violence and Star Dodge to foster relationships within Holiday Hills.
They hope they will have the same success in the neighborhood as they had in the Alameda neighborhood. Only four crimes were reported in the Alameda neighborhood in July, a drastic decrease from the usual crime rate.