Mobile Mayor addresses failed goal of the safest city by 2020

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is commenting on his pledge to become the safest, most business and family-friendly city by 2020.

News 5 reached out to the mayor’s office about the failed goal. The mayor, while not available Monday to comment on camera, sent us a comment, and his goals for the new year.

The mayor says 2020 was “self-imposed to put pressure on us to change the status quo.” He says that he is not satisfied with not yet being the safest, most business or family-friendly city. Stimpson says they have made progress, and there is more to do.

“I think we have made a few improvements,” said Shanquilla Bettis.

“I’m hoping things are going to get better,” said Mike Knapp.

Since the deadline has come and gone, many we spoke with on Monday say they don’t think Mobile has gotten safer.

“It seems like to me it’s a little worse this year,” said Donna Knapp.

In 2019, there were 40 homicides in the city of Mobile. 13 of them remain unsolved.

HOMICIDE NUMBERS:

20092010201120122013201420152016201720182019 (As of 12/30)
24 25 30 29 27 31 23 44 50 28 40

We spoke with Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste last week how 2019’s homicide numbers impact Mobile’s goal of becoming the safest city by 2020.

“We are a safer community today than we were last year or the year before that.”

He said that Part One crime, which are violent crimes like homicides rapes and robberies, have decreased over the span of two years.

“While we may not have reached our goal of being the safest city by 2020, I think we have made some enormous strides in moving in that direction, and I also believe that had we not set such lofty goals, would we be where we are today,” asked Chief Battiste.

Mayor Stimpson says the goal hasn’t changed, the plan has, saying it “is a long-distance race — not a sprint.”

“I think the goal is definitely attainable, I think it’s going to take us some time to get there as a community to come together and make sure we all work towards reaching that goal. It’s not just one person as a community, we do what we need to do to help that,” said Bettis.

As for his goals for 2020, Mayor Stimpson laid out five goals he would like to see happen this new year:

  • Engage the public to become more involved in the reduction of crime and litter
  • Resolve the path forward for
    • Growing the City through Annexation
    • Neighborhood revitalization
    • Affordable housing
  • Come up with the solution to the Civic Center and Ladd Stadium
  • Increase the number of visitors to Mobile
  • Workforce development – MCPSS; public house

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