Montgomery leaders hope a good thing continues into the new year.
So far no homicides, a welcomed respite after the city recorded 50
murders in 2013.
Meantime, local officials aren't sitting back, crossing their
fingers and hoping for the best. Law enforcement along with the mayor
met for an hour Friday afternoon and reviewed the crime stats for 2013
and discussed ideas on how to curb the homicide rate in 2014.
"At the end of the day we just have to love one another," said Mayor Todd Strange.
The mayor admitted that sounds good in theory and knows it's highly
unlikely this city of 208,000 will sail through another year without a
The most recent killings took place three days after Christmas at
the Centennial Bar & Grill near downtown Montgomery. Three dead, two
arrested in a high profile case that shocked the capital city. Among
the dead was a rising rap star and native Montgomery Glenn Thomas also
known as "Doe B."
"I think we've gotten away from the personal aspect of the victims.
These are people with families, names and faces and we have to get back
to the human side and figure out why this is happening," said police
chief Kevin Murphy.
Although Montgomery had a violent year with murders, it was not a record. The city reached 58 homicides in 1975.
In spite of 50 homicides in 2013 some things actually went right and the overall crime
rate is actually down, according to the Montgomery Police Department.
For example, one program netted more than 500 illegal guns off the
streets, guns where suspects rubbed off the serial numbers on them.
"We are convinced if those weapons had not been confiscated they
would have been in used in violent acts," said Chris Murphy, Director of
Public Safety for Montgomery.
In terms of the 50 murders, a commission was set up last year to
try to understand the dynamics of why the killings happened. The
process of figuring it all out is still a work in progress.
For now city leaders and law enforcement continue to search for answers, hoping the new year doesn't mirror the last.