Birmingham Police count record low number of homicide cases
Moms and dads have tucked in a lot of children for the night. Police continue to patrol the streets of Birmingham to provide comfort to some. The city's police department released homicide numbers everyone with a badge could appreciate. What about those who lost someone because of another person?
Officers in the homicide unit for Birmingham Police have have 26 homicides in the books so far this year. The city is pacing to end 2014 the safest it's been since the 1950's. People see officers all over town. People know they are working. But, the mother of a man shot dead years ago doesn't care about this year's numbers.
George Powell, Junior is gone. Someone shot him in 2006.
"Every day, I think about my son and how he would have been since he would have been 31 years old if he had been living," said Wanda Erskine.
Erskine fights violence by holding rallies, spreading God's word and being active in the community.
"We're pleased to see the numbers coming down," said Captain Scott Praytor.
He works in the homicide unit for Birmingham police. He and his team have counted 26 cases this year.
"They're not as low as we'd like them. I always say one homicide is way too many," added Captain Praytor.
He believes officers and communities working together is the main reason for the drop in homicides. More enforcement operations in the public and undercover are others.
"The biggest challenge is keeping everyone motivated. I'm talking about, not only police officers, but the citizens. You don't want people to get frustrated and think it's a lost cause," added Captain Praytor.
Erskine has about eight years of frustration.
"They are pretty good, but they need to do a little bit better," added Erskine.
She knows Birmingham police can't stop all violence from happening, so wants the adults to step-up too.
No one can take full credit for the decrease in homicides so far. Captain Praytor believes things are a lot easier when officers have a police chief and mayor who support them.