"We have evidence to support the belief that Abilene serves as a conduit for drug trafficking," explains Standridge.
Standridge explains that the some of the drugs come from Mexico, travel through Abilene on Interstate 20, arrive in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, and then are transported back to West Texas, including Abilene, for distribution and sale.
Trafficking is not the only issue in the area though. currently, APD investigates between two and three prescription fraud investigations each week. Most offenders, according to Standridge, do not reside in Abilene, but attempt to fill prescriptions here illegally. Legislation that regulates the sale of one methamphetamine ingredient, ephedrine, have drastically reduced the amount of domestically produced meth locally, however, foreign made meth is on the rise in the Key City. Black Tar Heroin is another illegal drug that police have seen an uptick in. Marijuana use, however, remains static.
As far as violent crime goes, there has been one more murder year to date than the previous two years, aggravated assault numbers are holding steady, as well as the statistics for robbery, but rapes are another story.
"You will see that rapes have gone from 25 in 2012, to 21 in 2013, to 53 this year already," says Standridge.
That can be an alarming statistic, however, Chief Standridge explains that the rise is due to a change in the definition of rape.
"This is an artificial rise created by a different definition created by the FBI. We are supportive of that different definition because we believe that it encompasses all types of sexual assault," explains Standridge.
Chief Standridge says the department is currently fully-staffed, but wants to remind Abilene residents that it is the citizens who are the first line of defense against crime.
For more information and to view the entire press conference, click here.