BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith updated the Birmingham City Council Tuesday on violent crime and what’s being done to combat it.
Crime remains the number one concern of most people in Birmingham. A North Birmingham realtor says it must be addressed. “There has been shootings, break-ins up there and the problem is we ain’t scared. If they start shooting, we shoot back,” Willie Casey said.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said his officers have changed patrol times in order to get officers in areas of potential crime. “The goal as police chief is to make a difference here in the city of Birmingham. We got to do more to reach out to people and save people in the community,” Smith said.
Increasing patrols in high crime areas is just one way to attack crime. The chief says he is holding his top officers accountable. “We do daily crime briefs at one o’clock. Holding our captains responsible for the crimes in the communities they represent,” Smith said.
Smith said his department will be reaching out more to the communities this summer with programs like Peace in the Park to develop relationships. “We didn’t get here overnight and we are not going to get out overnight. But I have come to you to give my commitment to address the city and crime within the city,” Smith said.
Chief Smith said a real-time crime center with the latest information should be up and running next year to help. Smith also wants to use officers as mentors to youth in the communities.