Homicide rates trend upward first part of 2019

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Mobile police just released its 2018 annual crime report, which shows crime rates are trending down. Including a drastic decrease in homicides.

But, 2019 is already off to a violent start.  

There have been at least double the number of homicides in just the first three months of 2019, compared to the first three months of 2018.

“What you’ll find is there is an alarming trend,” said Public Safety Director James Barber earlier this month. 

From January 1st to March 31s of 2019, there were at least 14 homicides. In the same time frame in 2018, just 7.

“I know that gun violence has gotten way out of control,” said crime victim Valeria Baker, Anesa Baker’s mom. 

Mobile Police are working hard to curb that trend.

“In 2018, as many as 90% of our victims are in the African American community, as well as 90% of the shooters,” said Barber earlier in April.

At the beginning of April, Mobile Police Chief, Lawrence Battiste, and Barber spoke with city council members. They shared what they’ve learned about crime rates, and how they plan on fighting it. 

Chief Battiste said in that meeting, “looking for those individuals that we believe are armed with weapons. Utilizing the intelligence we have with the technology that we have available to us. And make those individuals that we believe are shooters or potential shooters, daily targets as we move on day to day.”

Law enforcement hopes city leaders get involved in the fight to get the numbers to trend back down, like the drop in homicides we saw from 2017 to 2018.

Barber says he has asked Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson, to push back his safest city by 2020, saying the goal remains the same, but it may take longer to get there. 

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