It's only March, and the City of Lufkin has already seen more deadly crimes over the past few weeks than all of last year. But Mayor Jack Gorden doesn't believe the three murders now under investigation will tarnish the town's image.
Last year, the state certified Lufkin as a retirement community and its number one micropolitan community. Gorden said that's proof the town is a safe place to live.
"Crime in Lufkin is really at an all time low," said Gorden. "It might be a temporary blip [in the numbers], but Lufkin is an extremely safe place to live and work and we can demonstrate that to anyone."
City leaders said three murders is a lot for a town Lufkin's size, but they won't affect all the positive things the city has to offer current and potential residents.
"The circumstances surrounding [those crimes] would indicate that they could have happened in any place in the country and it's very unfortunate, but there's just too much positive stuff going on and we have too much to offer people in every aspect of our community."
Compared to several other Texas towns similar in size, the most recent statistics show Lufkin's crime rate is high, but not unusually so. Lufkin police reported two murders, 22 rapes, and more than 120 aggravated assaults in 2005.