Fmr. MPD Chief raises Concerns Over Increased Crime

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile’s former police chief says he has concerns over recent violence occurring in the city.

Micheal T. Williams is speaking out after multiple shootings last week, including three homicides.

But Williams says the trend has been worrisome for a while now.

“41 homicides is a lot for the size of this city,” said Williams. “The overall crime was an increase of 8.9 percent. There were some things that I would suggest that they do.”

The former chief says the department has moved away from street enforcement measures used when he was chief like Operation Impact.

“You have to keep the street level interdiction type units out there. You have to keep people off of the street corners, you have to keep people from doing those street level things because those things escalate,” said Williams.

Current Public Safety Director James Barber agrees that 2016 was a tough year statistically, but that crime was up across the country. He says it followed one of the lowest crime stretches in recent memory.

“The increase in crime that we saw in 2016 it makes it even more exaggerated because you’re benching a high year against a record low year,” said Barber.

He says over all the department has seen more success moving away from typical street busts.

“Traditional tactics tended to target communities instead of individuals. The intelligence led initiatives that we use in the 21st century policing target the criminals that are causing the problem within the community,” said Barber.

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