East side crime rate low despite recent WF shootings


WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - There have been two shootings in the last four days in one Wichita Falls community.

However, police say crime in that area, the east side of town, is the lowest in the city.

Sergeant Harold McClure says Wichita Falls is broken down into six beats.

Out of those six, the Eastside has the lowest number of felony reports filed.

That includes crimes like aggravated assaults, sexual assault, robberies, vehicle theft and burglaries.

This year, there have been 108 on the east side.

In other areas, like University, which includes busy spots like the mall, there have been 232 calls.

But Sgt. McClure said there are a lot of factors that contribute to crime, like population, how many people visit the area and the number of businesses there.

Families who live on the east side of town said they are not surprised by the low numbers and feel safe and as tight-knit as ever.

"Everybody knows someone.  Everyone grew up with someone.  Everybody is like either this cousin or that cousin or played high school football together," said Lee Beatty.

Beatty has called the Eastside home for 53 years.

"I guess maybe about 20 years ago it used to be pretty rough.  Now, it's pretty low.  Everybody kind of is like a family," said Beatty. "Everybody looks after one another."

Something police said they notice, too.

"They work well together.  They are very pro-police," said Sgt. McClure. "They work well with the police and detectives."

He adds although there have been high priority calls there recently, including those two aggravated assaults, "That does not mean that all of a sudden the east side of town has become a dangerous part of our community," said Sgt. McClure.

He said if you look at the facts, the Eastside is still the lowest by call volume when compared to other parts of the city, adding it is the lowest by felony reports filed inside the city.

"We're not talking about just a small percentage.  We're talking, in some cases, anywhere between 80 and 70-percent less than other parts of the community," he said.

He said the east side of Wichita Falls is one of the quietest in the city, if not the quietest.

A quite place where Tasha Hamill is raising her boys.

"There's not any issues over here.  We haven't had any," said Hamil.

This is the second home she has lived in on this side of town.

"It's all about the people.  It's not about the area.  It's about the people," she said.

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