City leaders ask for community involvement with Mobile on pace to match 2021 homicide total

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - After a record-setting number of homicides last year Mobile is currently on pace to match that total.

“It’s just the numbers are rapid,” said Michael Jackson. “There needs to be something done.”

According to MPD’s 2021 crime report the city had 16 homicides by the end of April on the way to 51 for the year. So far Mobile has 15 homicides including the one outside University Hospital on Easter Sunday.

“I’m sad to hear about that,” added Jackson. “It’s a reoccurring problem. It happens over and over again.”

But Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste says focusing on the homicides won’t help turn the corner.

“It’s preventing the number of shooting into occupied vehicles and shooting into occupied dwellings,” said Battiste.

MPD says there were four instances of someone shooting into a building or vehicle over the weekend. Battiste says cooperation from those involved in incidents like these could cut back on homicides.

“It’s not until someone dies often that we really get the support and the cooperation,” said Battiste. “If they would be more cooperative on the front end we could get the person who’s the shooter off the streets sooner.”

Meanwhile, the city is taking steps to cut back on violent crime. The city is hoping to have the gunshot detection system shot spotter in place in the next month or so.

“We’re looking at where we are now and once we deploy where can we shift resources to make sure we’re predicting or being in the areas where we believe the next violent offense will occur,” said Battiste.

Shot Spotter is only one tool. Battiste says the biggest tool is community involvement. Especially with events like this Wednesday’s “It Takes All of Us” event hosted by the new youth violence prevention coordinator.

“We need the community to get engaged so they’ll know what they can do to assist us in preventing violent behavior,” said Battiste.

If you want to get involved the “It Takes All of Us” event is this Wednesday at Unity Point Park at 3:00.