Crime Strategies Hope To Fight Violent Crime Spike

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By Catalina Trivino

From Montgomery -- Mayor Todd Strange says something needs to change.. after seeing violent crime spike by 37 percent this year...

Montgomery Mayor, Todd Strange, says city leaders and police are talking about how to approach crime in the city -- and they hope tweaking strategies will reduce the number of violent crimes occuring.

Montgomery has recorded 45 murders so far this year and Mayor Strange says restructuring police department strategies to reduce crime is in the works.

"We've got the public safety director, we've got the police chief, we've got operational chiefs, but we've all been around the table scratching our heads trying to really get a handle on this," Said Strange.

And police, Kevin Murphy, says with 167 more violent crimes so far this year compared to last year, they're already trying to manage the number for next year. In order to battle that, he's looking at crime maps and seeing where the crimes are happening and putting an even bigger officer presence in that area.

"The presence is important, but particularly where your presence is being felt, but obviously go where I just said... where the crime is," Said Murphy.

He says the police department has even brought in professors to study their crime statistics. And what causes crimes to occur. But Montgomery County Chief Deputy Derrick Cunningham says police also need the community's help in calling in the crimes. He says back in the 1990's, when he was a Montgomery city investigator, revenge was not a big issue in crimes like it is now...

"It was totally different because you can talk to witnesses and normally witnesses would tell what took place, but now it is a different ball game. People can actually witness a crime being committed and they're at the point of out of sight, out of mind," Said Cunningham, who used to be a homicide investigatory with the city police department.

Montgomery Police say there have been 727 fewer non-violent crimes like burglary and thefts this year compared to last year.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy says since they've put more officers in areas with more crimes the violent crime rate has been cut in half.
 



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