Lopez: Firearms behind rise in Durham violent crime
Posted May 4, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez was direct regarding why the city has experienced a spike in violent crime.
“I think the cause is because people are using guns and violence to deal with their issues, whatever that issue may be,” he said.
Overall violent crime has increased 22 percent when compared to this time last year, according to numbers Lopez provided to city leaders during Monday’s city council meeting.
“We got to these communities ahead of time to let them know that there is going to be a continual police presence for a long period of time,” he said.
When broken down:
- Homicides increased 67 percent.
- Aggravated assaults increased 28 percent.
- Robbery increased 18 percent.
- Reported rapes decreased 32 percent.
Burglaries and motor vehicle thefts also declined, but the department did not meet its goal of responding to priority calls within five minutes.
Reducing the negative trends will require accountability across the department, Lopez said.
“We're looking to improve in anything that we're doing,” he said. “I mean, response times, our expectations. We really push ourselves to the edge on it.”