WACO, Texas – The Waco Police Department is speaking on the increase of gun-related crime in the city over the last five years.

The department says that it, along with the McLennan County District Attorney, shares a sense of urgency regarding gun violence in the streets of the community.

“We see what others see; too many people being shot and killed in our community. We are deeply impacted by the loss of life and the trauma plaguing Waco. In 2021, there have been 1,894 discharges of firearms or gun-related crimes in the City of Waco. Twelve of 17 homicides in 2021 involved a gun.”

– Waco Police Department Public Information Officer Cierra Shipley

The department said in a press release Thursday morning that officers responding to these calls need residents who witness any type of discharge of firearms to assist them in gathering as much information that would help to identify the shooter – including the gathering of video evidence from Ring cameras and other video cameras which might have captured these incidents.

The department says it needs victims and witnesses to be forthcoming with information as to suspects’ motives as to why the shooting occurred. Victims are urged not to retaliate against those they believe are responsible for the violence directed at them.

“As public officials, it is our responsibility to work in partnership with the community to galvanize every possible resource to prevent, intervene, investigate, and suppress gun violence. Gun violence rates continue to increase amid the Waco Police Department’s proactive approach to prevent, intervene, investigate, and suppress gun violence.”

– Waco Police Department Public Information Officer Cierra Shipley

Each case involving gun violence is being actively reviewed by the Waco Police Department’s Investigations Command in collaboration with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office. These investigations are being conducted with urgency in attempts to identify suspects, make arrests and remove violent offenders from the Waco streets.

The Waco Anti-Gang center is a great resource being used to address and identify gang members and drug dealers engaged in violent acts, and is working with local and federal prosecutors to ensure maximum sentences are imposed.

The department says the individuals involved in these violent acts will be punished to the full extent of the law. The department also recognizes that actions speak louder than words – and that everyone all shares a sense of urgency.

“We know unity and collaboration begin with us as we work together and in partnership with the communities we serve. We are committed to working together, supporting each other, including our policing partners who work to keep our communities safe every day. We know success will only be measured by reductions in gun violence. We are committed to our community and this goal.”

– Waco Police Department Public Information Officer Cierra Shipley

Source: Waco Police Department