Homicides up nearly 40% in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Homicides are up nearly 40 percent in Birmingham compared to this time last year.
In September 2021, there had only been 73 murders by this time. So far this year, 102 people have been killed in Birmingham.
Birmingham Police were able to arrest four different suspects this week and said one was directly related to witness tips. But, the cases weren’t from the string of murders the city has seen since Labor Day. They were from cases back in May, July, and two in August.
“Our officers are being diligent,” Birmingham Police Sgt. Monica Law said. “We want to see this crime rate go down. While you might not see something every day, just know we are still working everyday.”
Law said solving a case can take time and often depends on witnesses coming forward. She said one anonymous tip can lead to closing a case. Law said they have gotten successful tips from Crime Stoppers and reaching out to the department directly.
“Getting information really takes the investigation a long way,” she said. “You don’t always get a case and immediately solve it, so it takes time to develop those leads that we get. If we get leads, we have to vet them, make sure they are accurate, and that might include search warrants or interviewing third parties.”
She said detectives are working each homicide case, no matter how far back they go. She said that’s why officers were able to make arrests in cases from the summer in September.
Chief Scott Thurmond told WBRC that conflict resolution is the city’s biggest issue. Now, they are deploying extra officers each night to high crime neighborhoods to try and stop the violence. It’s called “Operation Silent Night.”
“No one is happy about children being involved in adult issues,” Sgt. Law said. “But, right now, we are seeing an influx of people who have poor conflict management and it is harming lots of people, because its not just that person who was murdered, they have families.”
BPD said they plan to send extra officers into neighborhoods at night for extra patrols until the end of October, but they say they will extend Operation Silent Night if needed.
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