Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter
The Arlington Police Department is trying to curb crime by setting an aggressive goal to cut the city's crime in half.
Arlington police have set an aggressive goal for curbing crime.
The department set a goal at the beginning of 2012 to cut crime by 50 percent over a three-year period.
“We're in the wrong line of business if we're not trying to go out and reduce crime,” said Sgt. Christopher Cook with APD.
Nearly one year into their self-imposed time frame and they say crime has dropped 11 percent. This includes violent crimes -- murder, rape, robbery, assault -- as well as property crimes such as burglary, arson and vehicle theft.
Police credit the crime reduction to an increased effort to engage citizens by having officers work in specific neighborhoods.
"Officers will be there typically for two years at a time where they can build relationships with residents in the area, build relationships with business owners and strategize to come up with time-tested methods to problem solve," said Cook.
Police also point to traffic enforcement efforts. They say saturating the city has not only changed driving behavior, making officers more visible, but has put those officers in the right place at the right time.
Cook said less crime equals greater legitimacy.
“Every time we do anything we ask ourselves, 'what have we done to earn the right to police this community?'" said Cook.
Arlington resident Lollie Logwood said she feels "very safe" living in Arlington.
"Sometimes it depends on what part of town, certainly [North Arlington], that I visit more frequently, I feel more safe" said Kim Carlisle, a Dallas resident who often works in Arlington.
But Cook admits that numbers are just numbers and crime victims may not feel the same way.
“It's easy to go out and say we've achieved this level of crime reduction, but we have to make that very real and make sure when we put that out there that the citizens understand it and know where we are," he said.