BPD launches operation “Silent Night” to battle recent violent crime surge
Police investigating eight homicides since Friday
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The violence continued today after the bloody holiday weekend. The scene on 17th Street North marks the 8th homicide death since Friday. Prior to the holiday weekend BPD launched Operation “Silent Night” with the goal of giving the Magic City quieter and, in turn, safer evenings.
BPD leaders decide which areas are in need of the additional officers and resources and then deploy teams in those neighborhoods. However, the violence has proved difficult to stop so far.
“For instance, on Saturday night we put them in East Precinct. East Precinct as a result was pretty quiet that night. We didn’t have any more violence as a result after that. Unfortunately, we then had the homicide in Elyton Village after that and it is just hard to be everywhere all of the time,” said Chief Scott Thurmond.
Mayor Randall Woodfin tweeted on Sunday that some of these recent shootings may be gang related.
“They are groups that are causing a lot of problems in our city right now. Those are the groups that we are looking into. Also using our state, local and federal partners to look into those groups and dismantle them basically is our goal there,” said Chief Thurmond.
But could gangs be behind the latest spike in violent crime?
“Don’t know, but we do know they are prevalent in our city. So we will do whatever we can to dismantle them to alleviate them from the community.”
Chief Thurmond says that while dismantling gangs will be a focus, conflict resolution remains the city’s largest issue.
“That’s the biggest problem we have. You look at a number of our homicides, the offenders and victims are known to one another. So it is not just that you have someone killing someone just for the heck of it. You have people who are having some kind of altercation and have chosen to use firearms to resolve or solve their altercation.”
Operation Silent Night will continue through October. The chief is once again asking that the community members with information come forward.
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