Homicides on the rise in Waco.

According to a report from FOX 44 News, the City of Waco is seeing a rise in homicides in 2020. According to Waco Police Department Interim Chief Frank Gentsch, Waco has recorded 15 homicides in 2020, the most the city has seen in 15 years.

Gentch told FOX 44:

“We’ve made arrests in eleven of of those 15 cases. Now that means we’ve got more work to do on those cases that we haven’t made an arrest yet.”

Of the 15 homicides in 2020, four of those homicides were related to family violence, four were related to drugs, three were from civil disturbances, two from robberies and one with no motive.

The Waco Police Department has created a new position to address the increase in family violence homicides. “That new position is going to be working on a proactive approach through the supervisor developing that to address some of these repeat family violence offenders,” Gentsch said.

Gentsch said the Waco PD is taking the rise in homicides seriously and they've also added a "Special Crimes Detective" which will give the Waco PD "another detective who can assist a unit in solving these crimes."

Late last month, Killeen reported an increase in homicides as well. In fact, by October 1, the Killeen Police Department had recorded more homicides in 2020 than in 2019, with a total of 24 this year. KPD Commander Anthony Laurence said homicides in the city this year have tended to be committed by suspects who knew their victims.

Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble reported that homicides in the city have typically involved narcotics, domestic disputes, and mental illness. 15 of the city's homicides involved victims under the age of 25, including four teens and two infants. Twenty cases were attributed to gun violence, while the city reported one stabbing, a case of a woman thrown from a balcony, and another case with no clear cause of death at the beginning of the month.

Central Texas is a great place to live, but our communities are not immune from violent crime. If you've been the victim of domestic violence, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or thehotline.org.

The National Crime Prevention Council has tips to help you protect yourself from violent crimes as well.

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