Downtown: Less Crime, More Police

Crime is down, yet Amarillo police say they are considering increasing their downtown patrol. It's all part of a bigger downtown safety plan. Greg Morris has lived downtown for just over a year... And he's seen his share of homeless people near his building. "I see some out by the dumpsters a lot, but they never bother me." The homeless are one reason many say they don't want to live downtown, but Amarillo Police says it's not nearly as bad as some make it out to be, and every new business or apartment helps get rid of the crime that does exist. Sgt. Brent Barbee says, "Every business that goes in is one less vacant building vagrants can cause trouble in and burglarize." With hundreds of new downtown residents, Barbee say they're considering using tactics simililar to those in Dallas and Houston. "We're looking at maybe putting men on bikes or having more people on foot patroling the area. Whatever we can do to get them closer to the actual people." There is a downside to taking officers out from behind the windshield. "It makes them slower in their response times and their visibility decreases as well." Tom Paulken developed three downtown apartment bulidings. He says developing downtown makes it a safer place for everyone, regardless of where you live from the first one we revitalized we saw immediate impacts. It's a ripple affect. A high tide carries many boats. It's a good thing for Amarillo in the long run."