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City of Fort Worth gives update on 2023 crimes

Fort Worth officials talk 2023 crime stats
Fort Worth officials talk 2023 crime stats 02:31

FORT WORTH – The city of Fort Worth is providing a snapshot of the crime trends for 2023. Police say the homicide rate decreased by more than 20% compared to the same time last year.

Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes tells CBS News Texas, personal property crime is down 4% and violent crime up less than 1%

"So, it's remained relatively flat. But that's not what we're going for. We're going for double digit decreases every single year," Noakes explains. 

The city recently passing its 2024 budget, with a chunk of the funds being put towards improving safety. The police department received around $6 million to add 63 new officer positions. "Another thing that our city leaders approved is a recruiting team. So, we'll have a dedicated team of officers who will be doing nothing but searching across the country for the best possible candidates," Noakes adds.

Mayor Mattie Parker says another area of focus is adding $1.5 million in funding to improve the safety of the entertainment districts like West 7th and the Stockyards. Some of those initiatives include community policing, an ambassador program, improved lighting, and better traffic regulation.

"It's also about transportation infrastructure, where we are paying to put new ballots up in West 7th. In other words --- no longer do you have to man an area with a police officer. You now have a ballot up, so that someone can drive through only on a one way street," Mayor Parker explains. 

Unfortunately, the city has had to deal with some difficult events in 2023. Back on July 3, 2023 – the city faced a mass shooting, where multiple gunmen opened fire on a crowd celebrating Independence Day. Three people were killed and eight others were hurt. Also, in September of 2023, TCU student, Wes Smith, was shot and killed around West 7th. Chief Noakes and Mayor Parker say they hope to heal from the past – and move forward with the community.

"We have people working around the clock, in offices, in neighborhoods to dedicate every bit of themselves to making Fort Worth the safest major city in the country," Noakes says. 

"With our Neighborhood Watch program, our IPO's, our neighborhood police officers --- those are the people that are really contributing to the safety and neighborhoods and the trends downward you're seeing in crime across the city of Fort Worth. I'm incredibly optimistic about 2024 for our city, for all the right reasons," Mayor Parker adds. 

The Fort Worth Police Department says they expect to have updated crime trends for the 4th quarter by January. 

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