DIBOLL — The city of Diboll was named the 14th safest city in Texas by Security Baron using data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Security Baron is an organization that reviews home security systems, software systems, device connections and smart platforms and gives in-depth analysis of those in their reviews and news items. They also annually compare data compiled by the FBI to determine the safest cities in the country.
“I was glad to see it, but I wasn’t actually shocked,” Diboll Police Chief Steve Baker said. “I have looked at our Uniform Crime Reporting over the last few years and our violent crime is down. Property crime is about even, it fluctuates. But overall our violent crime is probably why we got such a low rating according to this Security Baron site.”
The company looked at data from the FBI’s 2016 and 2017 data in the Uniform Crime Reporting system in it’s latest report. They focused on the rate of: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, vehicle theft, arson, motor vehicle theft and the median income of residents.
Diboll received a score of 84.99. They had a population of 5,363 in the report and noted zero violent crimes per 1,000 people and 11.37 property crimes per 1,000 people. The safest city in Texas, Kermit, has a population of 6,459 and noted zero violent crimes per 1,000 and 2.17 property crimes per 1,000. They had a safety score of 91.25.
No other cities in Angelina County were listed in this report.
Diboll city manager Gerry Boren has looked at their annual report for several years and was proud to see Diboll listed so highly, he said.
“As much as our police department attempts to control crime, unfortunately you can’t,” he said. “You can deter crime by being active in the neighborhoods.”
This is part of the department’s mindset, Baker said. They hire officers who will be proactive in the community, make connections and follow up on leads for suspicious behavior, rather than just reacting when a crime has been committed, he said.
“I give all the credit to the officers who are working out here,” he said. “We’ve tried to really screen the people we’ve hired … to where we get the best bang for our buck. We’re looking for someone who really wants to get out and make a difference who’s really interested in their job and really wants to get out and serve.”
Baker said officers are trying to break down the barriers between the community and the force so that constituents feel comfortable calling the police when they see something suspicious. He said that by visiting schools, patrolling regularly and having all his officers be present in the community they’ve managed to build bonds and improve those lines of communications.
“To do our job effectively it’s hard to just go out and look for crime happening or catch it,” Baker said.
“But if we have a good rapport with the community — a lot of times a community won’t want to speak because they’re afraid of retaliation — but once they see the lighter side of the officers … it builds a little trust. So now we have people who will communicate with the officers when they see something.”