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Violent Crime, Homicides Continue To Rise, CMPD Says

CMPD Deputy Chief Gerald Smith
Sarah Delia
Deputy Chief Gerald Smith speaks to reporters Wednesday.

Violent crime continues to rise across Mecklenburg County, up 11% from last year's data, according to statistics released by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Wednesday.

CMPD's third-quarter crime statistics showed a 5.3% increase in overall crime compared to last year. The number of homicides in Charlotte, which now stands at 85, is a 93% increase from 2018.

Deputy Chief Gerald Smith said officers are working to counteract that increase, even as the department deals with a shortage of about 180 officers.

"Yes, we're short," Smith said. "And no one knows it more than that officer in the patrol who's taking those calls, taking those reports, completing those investigations. And I would like to say directly to them that your work does not -- has not -- gone unnoticed and not appreciated."

CMPD launched a Violent Crime Initative in mid-August, and in the six weeks included in the data, the organization recorded 31 arrests and seized 16 illegal guns and 10 stolen guns.

Among the statistical improvements was fatal traffic collisions. That number decreased to 43 from 59 at the same time last year.