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Montgomery's Murder rate has hit an alarming number. So far, Montgomery has seen 29 homicides in 2013, and we're only in the 27th week of the year. In a one-on-one interview with the Chief of Police, he admits "we're having a bad year, there's no denying it"
"Everyone of these was a flesh and blood human being whose life was cut short far too soon." That's why Chief Kevin Murphy is pouring over data and studying maps daily. "So you know exactly where your problems are and you know where to focus…none of the homicides that we've experienced in the city have been random, most everyone of them knew their perpetrator." A reason, Chief Murphy says the average citizen should feel safe, "a lot of victims that we've seen this year have engaged in reckless behavior, they use drugs, they sell drugs, they carry an illegal weapon…they frequent bars, they abuse alcohol… the more sexual partners you have, the higher incidence you have to be the victim of violent crime."
The numbers show* your risk of becoming a victim is remote, and your behavior could keep you safer. "If you're not engaging in that activity, the likelihood, the probability of you falling into this crime category is pretty significant that you're not going to be the victim of violent crime," says the Chief.
[DOCUMENT: Violent Crime so far in 2013 (.pdf)]
The question remains: why aren't these violent crimes being prevented? "It is a great question and it needs to be continued to be asked." Chief Murphy says much of the work is up to the citizens. "Citizens solve crime, the police department does, but we can't do it without citizens involvement…when we start fearing doing the right thing - coming forward - then we let the criminals and the violent offenders win."
When asked if Montgomery is a more dangerous or more safer place than five years ago, the Chief responded, "That is a great question - I'm gonna find the answer out to that…statistically, violent crime is up, but we have to remember, it had been on the decrease for a long time"
Overall, crime is actually down in Montgomery. Violent crime only makes up 7% of all crime in the city. And the Montgomery Police Department has solved 81% of the violent crime cases it has worked, much better than the national average of 60-65%. Chief Murphy says his department has taken on a number of new initiatives to curb crime, and admits some of them haven't worked. He says police will continue to try new ideas until they see the trend go back to declining.
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