If you've been keeping up with the news, or at the very least, following Evansville Watch on Facebook and Twitter, then you know there's been an increase in "shots fired" reports in certain parts of the city. These reports have prompted Chief Billy Bolin to take extra steps to keep residents safe.

In a statement released through the Evansville Police Department Facebook page, Chief Bolin said extra man power is being dedicated to the areas most recently effected in an effort to reduce the number of gun-related crime reports in those areas. Bolin's full statement reads as follows:

In an effort to reduce the number of violent acts involving guns in several Evansville neighborhoods, I instructed my Patrol Supervisors to increase the police presence in the effected areas.

That increased presence began in the summer when we conducted several "Safe Streets" details. Those details resulted in multiple arrests and several illegally possessed guns were taken off the street. We have now began assigning uniformed officers to the area on an overtime basis. The additional manpower cost is being funded by a federal grant. We have also directed on duty motor patrol units to remain highly visible in the effected area when they are not assigned to other calls for service.

Another crucial part of reducing these acts of violence is maintaining open lines of communication with the residents who live in the effected neighborhoods. Beginning today, to ensure we keep those lines open, we will have a team of officers going door to door to speak with people in the neighborhoods that have been directly impacted by the increased violence. The officers will be sharing ways the residents can communicate with us and encouraging them to do so. They will also be reminding people that there should be strong lines of communications between neighbors.

My greatest fear is that the reckless actions by these armed individuals will result in the death of an innocent bystander. These acts have taken place while children were present and the thought of this community losing a child to this senseless violence is unbearable. I am committed to doing everything possible to make sure that does not happen.

I would like to thank the people who have already taken steps to stop the spread of violence and I am encouraging everyone to stand together to make our city a safe place to call home.

Billy Bolin
Chief of Police

I applaud Chief Bolin for not only recognizing the problem, but taking steps to keep it from getting out of control. As a lifelong resident of Evansville, and more importantly a father of two young children, I'm glad to see the authorities take the threat of violence seriously in order to keep Evansville a great place to raise a family.

What do you think? Are you happy to see the Department take a stance and try to nip the issue in the bud, so to speak, or do you think more could be done? Weigh in using the comment section below.