Study shows more Wacoans feel safe in neighborhoods at night

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 2:52pm

WACO -- In a follow-up to a 2010 community poll the Baylor Center for Community Research and Development found that 14 percent more people feel safer walking alone in their neighborhood at night.

"We surveyed all of McLennan County and then we were able to, based on their zip code, to divide it up and to see the differences in different parts of Waco," said Robyn Driskell, divisional dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology.

The biggest change in perception of crime came from North Waco where 83 percent of residents say they feel safe versus just 54 percent in 2010.

South Waco also saw a jump to 74 percent, up from 48 percent.

"Things as simple as lighting on the streets really makes a difference on how safe people feel, but also a police presence," said Driskell. 

"We also know there's a lot of work left to do," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco P.D.

The survey did find a 6.5 percent decline in safety perceptions in East Waco.

Driskell said the survey was divided up by race, gender and age, and the older population ages 55 and above, as well as more women say they feel safe.

"We're seeing that people overall are feeling better about our community and one of that is bringing new business," said Driskell.

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