Birmingham leaders announce plans to reduce crime in city

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper and Mayor William Bell discuss plans to reduce crime in the city at a news conference, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (

The city of Birmingham has seen a rash of homicides over the last week.{}The crimes have struck an emotional cord with city leaders. And Tuesday they met to strategize and come up with ways to stop the violence.

Mayor William Bell and Police Chief A.C. Roper announced some of the new plans. Roper says the force has an adequate number of police officers, but it will adjust the shifts of about 50 officers, many of whom will be moved to after-dark schedules. Roper also says each police precinct{}has developed its own plan{}address crime, especially in high-crime areas.

During the meeting, Mayor Bell showed appreciation to the police department for the work it has done. In fact, Roper contends the homicide rate over the last few year has decreased. He says the number of serious crimes, including homicides and rapes, have dropped 23 percent over the last five years. Plus, Mayor Bell says most of the homicides involve people who know each other.

Roper will give more details about his crime reduction plan Wednesday during a "Meeting of the Whole" meeting at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 4 p.m.