LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Recently released crime data shows Lufkin to be one of the most crime-stricken areas in the state, but law enforcement officials said the numbers can be deceiving.
"Listing us as the third most dangerous city in Texas, to me, it's just crazy," said Lufkin Police Sgt. David Casper.
According to the numbers, there are 6.15 violent crimes for every 1,000 residents. There are 62 property crimes for every 1,000 residents. These numbers mean one in 15 residents could become a victim of a crime.
Casper said the numbers are reported from his department to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and those are passed onto the FBI. Casper said these numbers are skewed because they put all types of crime into one equation.
"If we were that bad, you would think DPS instead of sending their officers to Laredo and other border towns, they would be sending them here, because we're the third most dangerous," Casper said.
Residents in Lufkin seemed to be mixed about the numbers.
"I don't see it as Lufkin being that bad," Dustin Smith said. "I never really hear about any shootings or any violent crimes."
"I've always felt safe living here," Heather Hatton said. "I know there are places I wouldn't go to with my kids alone, but I've always felt safe were we live."
"Sometimes, I'm scared to go everywhere," Marilyn Jones said. "I think it is a drug problem."
Casper said no matter how a person looks at the numbers, there will always be a criminal element.
"There has to be a means for the offender," Casper said. "He has to be able to commit the offense. He has to be able to have the opportunity to commit the offense, and of course there always has to be a victim."
Casper said the high number does not mean the area is dangerous. Casper said the numbers could be an indication that more people are just reporting crimes.
Casper said the best thing someone can do is to have common sense and be alert to any suspicious activity.