Palestine's Crime Rate Declines

The streets of Palestine get a bit safer each year. At least that's what a Texas Department of Public Safety report says.

The study says Palestine's crime rate has been decreasing steadily for three years, even as crime in other areas soars. The study examines major crimes in Texas cities such as rape, assault, burglary and murder. Palestine police and residents feel the city's economic development and influx of tourists is helping them fight crime.

"We'll see the sales tax revenue increase and that's helpful to us because it enables us to provide better law enforcement services and better public services," says police Chief Pat Henderson. "Those dollars trickle down into our budgets eventually."

The city's crime rate per capita dropped from 1,224 in 1999 to 1,085 in 2001. Chief Henderson believes the numbers will be even lower next year. And as the crime rate drops, police give much of the credit to city residents and the tourists who come visit them.

Oddly enough, the Texas city with the highest crime rate is another popular tourist spot...South Padre Island.