Birmingham's mayor and police chief say the city's recent string of homicides is an anomaly, but they're putting in place a plan that will put more officers in some of the city's most dangerous areas.
After six homicides in five days, Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Police Chief A.C. Roper were short on answers to the question of why, but had a lot to say when asked what they plan to do about it.
"There'll be a combination of both seen and unseen activities on behalf of the police department to disrupt the environment that allows those activities to take place," Mayor Bell said.
Chief Roper added, "We've required every precinct to develop a precinct plan for how they will address the legacy locations and those areas, as the mayor mentioned, where we need to adjust the environment."
In addition to those precinct plans, Chief Roper is adjusting the hours of 50 officers from the tactical unit and crime reduction team to put more feet on the streets during the overnight hours when a lot of the recent murders have happened.
Roper also pointed out that while the last five days have been deadly, the city's major crime rate is down 22 percent in the last five years, and overall crime is down 10 percent this year, including the homicide rate, until the last week.
"Our department is to be commended for that, but the work is never done. I want to assure the public that the chief and I are committed to providing the resources and manpower to address the issues we face in the city of Birmingham," Mayor Bell said.
"For us, every one of these calls affects a family. Regardless of whatever issues may exist at that location, the fact is, someone has lost their life…So the first goal is to prevent it, but if we cannot prevent it, our goal is to bring the appropriate person to justice," Chief Roper said.
Chief Roper is set to address the city council about his crime fighting plans at a committee of the whole meeting Wednesday afternoon.
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