Wednesday, April 23, 2014

News
Drugs Subject of Many Homicides in Montgomery
By Ashley Thompson


Police say many homicide cases are drug-related. So how are Montgomery Police fighting the drugs that often lead to gunfire, and death?

Jordan Louis and Dana Milner are sisters who live just up the street from the Red Lion Apartment Complex, the scene of a drug-related triple shooting on July 1st. They tell us they moved into a quiet, peaceful neighborhood but say that is no longer the case.

"I began to see all of the fighting and crime and the drugs," Milner says.

Drugs are the cause of many homicides according to Montgomery Police and Chief Kevin Murphy says his department is actively working to fight the problem.

"We have a full time unit that is completely dedicated to drugs, making drug arrests, making drug cases, we have members on the federal task force."

Murphy says Montgomery experienced exceptionally high homicide numbers in the beginning of 2013 and says even if the city falls into an average murder rate for the remaining months, numbers will still be high.

"In January we had eight, we had none the year before," he explains. "March of this year, we had seven homicides, March of 2012...we only had one."

So why the increase? Murphy says there's no way to tell but tells us the police department needs help from the community to stop the violence and to solve crimes. Though some residents tell us they're not sure they'll get it.

"They won't call the police," says Louis. "They won't tell them because some of them are doing it themselves."

Still, there are many who want these drugs to stop tearing apart their communities.

"All that shooting going on, that don't make no sense," says Montgomery resident Fred Williams.

Montgomery police have made arrests in the majority of these homicides, with an 88 percent clearance rate, more than 20 percent high than the national average.