In the wake of yesterday's gang shooting in Waco that claimed nine lives and injured 18 others, we spoke with Temple Police Department public information officer Christopher Wilcox about the safety of the citizens of Temple, Texas.

Wilcox confirmed that Temple P.D. was on alert and ready to assist Waco P.D. should any violence escalate in the aftermath of the shooting, and that Temple P.D.'s SWAT unit had been on call until approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

Responding to the rumor that members of the motorcycle clubs involved in Sunday's shooting might be converging on Waco for retaliation, Wilcox acknowledged that he had heard the rumor.

"There was some increased presence and increased patrols throughout the city," he confirmed, "and we did place some officers in strategic locations around the city that we felt would make officers more readily available to respond to an incident, should it occur."

County Sheriff Departments and local law enforcement agencies stay in contact and have cooperative plans in place to assist other departments should the need arise. Wilcox praised the job done by Waco P.D. in a "very tense and volatile" situation.

Wilcox also asserted that there was no known presence of criminal motorcycle clubs in Temple, and defended what he referred to as "benevolent" motorcycle clubs that regularly make a positive impact on their communities through toy runs & food drives.

"I get very concerned when people start lumping bikers together," he said. "It's very important that we remember that there are outlaw motorcycle gangs out there, and it's very unfortunate. However, it's a very, very, very small percentage of people who ride motorcycles".

Temple P.D. has recently instituted the Next Door program, a neighborhood watch for the 21st Century, whereby citizens of Temple can set up their own watch via social networking. "We've only got 200 eyes on the street at any one time, but if you've got all of your citizens involved and the people that are working in the city involved, that's over 200,000 eyes keeping watch for crime and reporting suspicious activity. You just can't beat that."

Follow Temple P.D. on Facebook for more information on how to keep the city safe.

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