NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - This evening, Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevey presented his annual crime report to the city council.
The chief wants the take away point to be the department prioritizes their employees, so in turn, they make the community a priority.
East Texas News met with residents and protectors about feeling safe against crime in Nacogdoches.
On Craven Street in Nacogdoches, Cheryl Durden is concerned for her neighborhood.
"It's rough," Durden said. "It's too rough."
A neighbor called on the phone. She refers to the street as Crack Blvd.
"It was never like this," said Pauline Curl, a Nacogdoches resident. All it is is a bunch of crackheads."
Their perception is so different from what Nacogdoches residents John Anson and Donna Christopher know. Anson takes a break tending a public garden to share that in the almost 50 years, he's lived in Nacogdoches he's never dealt with a crime issue.
"Absolutely. That's why it's more important for our police force to get the kind of education, the kind of training to be able to work with all different kinds of people," Anson said.
Coincidentally, Sevey writes in his crime report that training and education are a necessity for a well-rounded officer. It's one of many goals he's set for the department. Most were met. Others were not.
"That goal represents to me a roadmap to success," Sevey said. "And if we fail at it, then we're going to keep pushing it until we make it."
"Every day, pretty much, we have a different district," said Ashley Harris, a Nacogdoches police officer.
Harris follows the chief's roadmap as she patrols Nacogdoches. Harris, a wife and the mother of a five-year-old daughter, is pleased about the city's stable crime rate. Still, this daughter of a Grand Prairie police officer worries about hate crimes against law enforcement.
"Luckily, nothing in Nacogdoches has happened and not to say it won't," Harris said. "It breaks my heart."
However, Harris remains objective.
"So there's two sides to what's going on," Harris said. "There's the officers side and there's what's going on in the community. There's anger on both sides."
Sevey knows to be careful when recruiting new officers. Finding qualified applicants, particularly for patrol and dispatch, is his most difficult challenge.
"If anyone is curious about public safety, and they want to be part of the action, but don't feel the need to go jumping over fences and getting shot at, this is a great place to be a part of that," Sevey said.
Sevey takes what he calls is a holistic approach to fighting crime.
"We try to react quickly, and we try to bring the best solution to the problem," Sevey said.
The approach will be used with Anson's potentially first experience with crime or in Curl's neighborhood. An officer will be expected to employ their chief's tactical thinking.
In 2017, the Nacogdoches Police Department was named for the ninth year as a Texas Police Chiefs Association Recognized Agency.
It's an accomplishment the majority of departments don't achieve.
The Nacogdoches Crime Report can be found at this link on pages 26-56.