For those who are considering a move to Stephenville, Texas, they may assume that it is a safe place to live and raise their children. So, what constitutes a safe neighborhood, and who is responsible for keeping neighborhoods safe? While we all expect that it is the duty of someone else to ensure each citizen’s safety, in reality, it is everyone’s duty to take on their share of that responsibility.
A safe neighborhood is one that has very little crime, has safe roads and public buildings, and focuses on citizen concerns and continual monitoring of laws, ordinances, and safety issues throughout the entire city limits. Why are some cities safer than others? A quick investigation of how a city is run by its leaders should reveal a lot of information as to what is causing certain aspects of the city to be considered unsafe.
When something bad happens in the neighborhood, residents and business owners will usually complain to the local law enforcement agency and politicians for not keeping the city safe. Yes, these government employees do have a duty to keep citizens safe. When laws and ordinances are not enacted to prevent crime, or when law enforcement does not enforce laws already on the books, an increase in crime will result.
Safety is not just limited to crime, but also involves the safety of citizens and pedestrians while they are living and roaming within the city. When new homes, apartments, and commercial buildings are built or remodeled, building codes must be adhered to by contractors and owner builders. The same applies to road, sidewalk and bridge construction. Without proper inspection and compliance, the neighborhood is not safe.
Stephenville is not immune to crime; however, certain crimes have been trending downward since 2009. For example, murder is almost non-existent while other crimes like assault, burglaries, thefts, and arson have been moving way down as compared to the period of 2006 through 2012. The current numbers are well below the national average for violent crime and property crime. Bottom line, Stephenville is a pretty good place to live.
Citizens of Stephenville should also do their part in keeping their neighborhood safe. Neighborhood watch programs have been organized in many communities where citizens keep a close eye on suspicious activity happening within their local areas. However, they must be trained to only call 911 when there are clear signs of danger, attack, or injury. False accusations must be prevented to respect those who have a legitimate reason to be in the neighborhood. When this happens, a criminal defense lawyer will not only be hired to exonerate their accused client, but also to file a complaint of false arrest or harassment. A safe neighborhood is an organized effort between citizens, city officials, law enforcement, and others working together to make their city a great place to live.