East Texas crime, economic officials hope for brighter 2010 - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas crime, economic officials hope for brighter 2010

By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - From drug busts, to job hunts, 2009 is a year East Texans won't forget.

"I don't know the solution to the problem, I just know my job is to catch them and stop them, but there's got to be, you know, if we can educate, maybe educate the people, show them what it's going to do to them," Sheriff's deputy Allen Hill said.

The sheriff's office has put a halt to about 80 labs this year in Angelina County alone, but for Hill a new year brings with it more challenges.

"I hope it dies down, but it's not," Hill said. "I mean, I know it's not. It's probably going to be a busier year for us."

So, his resolution: keep fighting and stay proactive.

"In the spare time, what little we'll have to really try to reach some of the kids and some of the teenagers and the people and show them the effects," Hill said.

But, whether it's slowing down criminal activity or a workforce center filling up, it's hard to forget this year.

"The economy I think has been more difficult this year than I think any time that I remember," said Charlene Meadows, executive director of WorkForce Solutions.

These centers became busy as reports of layoffs spread through East Texas, but she's not giving up hope for 2010.

"I don't have any idea which way we're going to go," Meadows said. "The recession still lingers on, but there are still some hope of improvement."

Meanwhile, Hill looks to find a redeeming quality in the midst of a destructive habit.

"I can hope people we catch, that we're able to help and they stop," Hill said. "I mean that would be a big deal to me if I stop arresting the same people over and over and over again."

But, they both hope the new year, is just that: a new beginning, with a clean slate for many East Texans.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly