Chief Talks New Officers, City Murders

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Police will be able to hire 15 additional officers thanks to a $1.5 million federal grant.

The department was one of 179 agencies to receive a COPS grant. According to award form, MPD listed Homicide as their problem focus area.

“We are thankful to have the grant. We think it will allow us to put more officers on the street. It will afford us to be able to be a little bit more proactive and create a little more visibility with our officers on the street,” said Police Chief Lawrence Battiste

So far in 2017 detectives have investigated 40 murders in Mobile.

“I am alarmed by that number,” said Battiste. “I would like to do better. I would like to do everything that we can.”

At this rate Mobile will finish the year with the most homicides in over a decade.

Battiste says he is acutely aware of the alarm that raises but doesn’t feel this is a trend.

“We’re not dealing with random homicides. Just about every homicide that we have had this year has been an associate or a known person domestic related,” said Battiste. “Absent of placing an officer in their back pocket there is no way we could have prevented that type of incident from occurring.”

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