Temple generally feels like a safe place to live and raise a family, but a disturbing rise in homicides has some citizens worried and police working to determine what could be the cause.

KWTX's Drake Lawson reports that the city recorded 14 homicides in 2018, and that there have been six homicide cases in the first quarter of 2019.

To give you a sense of scale, police say there were a total of six recorded homicides in Temple in 2017.

In response to the rise in such cases last year, the Temple Police Department established a Violent Crimes Task Force that has since been absorbed into a permanent Violent Crime Enforcement Squad.

Temple PD Public Information Officer Cody Weems told KWTX the squad's purpose is to identify and respond to rends in violent crime.

Weems said he cannot speculate a specific reason for the rise in violent crimes. He aid that the department does everything it can to prevent them, but that officers can't be everywhere at once. Weems encouraged citizens to do their part and contact the police department if they see or have any helpful information about suspicious activities.

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