Birmingham Police are investigating 4 homicides in 7 days

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There is mixed news on Birmingham crime.

The city's murder rate has decreased double digits compared to this time last year, but there have been 4 homicides in the west section of town in 7 days.

By this time last year, Birmingham had already seen 70 homicides. For this year, that number is  53. That's a 19% drop. But if you live on the west side of town, it's been hard to focus on that good news when in the last 7 days, there with 4 dead bodies on the streets.

There were 2 murders over 2 nights last week in Ensley, but police say one of those may be ruled a justifiable homicide. They believe the victim was trying to rob the man who shot him.

Then this week, 2 women were killed in separate incidents on Monday and Tuesday near Smithfield. Police point out they don't think these are related.

"We look to attack each case 1 on 1," Sgt. Johnny Williams of the Birmingham Police Department said. "We don't see a relationship between the homicides that have occurred recently."

"There's more that needs to be done," said West End resident Cassandra Jackson. "More patrolling. I know they bought a lot of new cars, I love the police officers because they're doing the best they can, and the parents need to step up and help them out. They (police) can't do everything by themselves."

"There should be a little more done about the crime rate because it's still kind of ridiculous the way things were going over here," Cedric Johnson, a West End barber said. "We had a robbery over here last night, so I think a little more should be done about the crime rate."

Sgt. Williams says his department is focused on their success and believes aggressive enforcement by patrol officers and a focus on repeat offenders has helped bring the murder rate down. He says more help from the community could bring it down even farther.

"I think we're getting much more cooperation from the community, Sgt. Williams said. "That's really helping us solve crimes and get the information to get the criminals off the street. The more people come forward they'll see crime reduction."