LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The number of assaults reported in Angelina County seem to be going down, but it's a trend most people aren't noticing.
Lufkin Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Doctor Debra Burton said the incidents, especially those that are domestic disputes, stick out because they're close to home.
Although the numbers show a slight decrease, authorities say there's still too much violence.
As the first line of response in the county, the Angelina County Sheriff's office said the norm is about eight to 10 assault calls every week.
It's a crime that can be particularly dangerous for responding officers.
"In those types of offenses involved in family violence, we're an outsider, we're coming into these people's homes where obviously emotions have already run high," said Angelina County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bart Riley.
Riley works in the Criminal Investigation Division at the sheriff's office. While he said they've seen a slight decrease in reported assault cases over the past two years, Burton said to some it may seem like the numbers are only growing.
"We're going to notice family violence more so because to make sense of it, that this is someone that supposedly loving this other person and they've supposedly hurt them, so it doesn't quite compute for us," said Burton.
"It might seem excessive," said Riley. "To us dealing with it every day, it's part of the job."
To keep the numbers down, Burton said people need to recognize what triggers their anger, then think before reacting.
"Anger is usually a response to hurt, to fear, to pain, to embarrassment," said Burton. "The typical example is when a car pulls out in front of you. You're going to get angry because it scared you."
Burton said often when officers are jumping in their patrol cars to respond to assault calls, the suspects are unpredictable and hard to calm down.
"A person can go into what we call a rage, just an uncontrolled state of anger where they will do things without thinking that they normally, if they weren't in that state they would not do it," Burton explained.
Riley said it's hard to pinpoint what causes the assaults.
Burton said learning to communicate properly can help prevent them. She said you're most likely to react in anger against those closest to you, so take a minute before reacting.
Also, a detective tells us the number of assaults reported to the Lufkin Police Department has remained steady over the last two years and they never really see a peak.