Mobile police report their crime numbers each year to the FBI. Looking at the numbers, you can see a clear downward trend in crimes like burglary, robbery, and larceny. Unfortunately, homicides have recently gone up. And though some crime is down, Mayor Sandy Stimpson says he’s not happy with the numbers.
“Those graphs and those numbers represent victims of crime. And when you start putting a face with those victims instead of just looking at lines and numbers, then it becomes, you have to become more compassionate about what is going on,” says Mayor Stimpson.
Burglary numbers were at their highest in 1987 at almost 9500 cases. It was at its lowest in 2015 at just over 2200 cases. However, homicide has seen a spike, from 23 cases in 2015 to 44 in 2016. Public Safety Director James Barber says they saw an unprecedented number of teen gun deaths that year. He blames it on a rise in adolescent gang members.
“You know, we can’t change the hearts of some people, but we can change the behaviors if we begin very young and a lot of our prevention has to do with dealing with the next generation,” says Director James Barber.
One of the programs dealing with prevention is the Bridging the Gap initiative that was first developed by then Police Chief Barber in 2015 and has since spread nationwide. It involves bringing together youth and police officers and teaches proper conduct. He says the number of arrests made in schools has been cut in half since the program’s inception.
The “Six Pillars of 21st Century Policing, they say, include building trust, utilizing social media, policy and oversight, training, safety and community policing. Officials tell us they will be talking much more about these pillars and what they are doing within each pillar to safeguard the community in the weeks to come.