Mobile's Murder Rate Lowest in Years, Prichard's Skyrockets

MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The homicide rate in Mobile dropped significantly this year as Prichard's skyrocketed. Prichard's murder rate is up more than 60 percent for 2015 as Mobile's dropped 25 percent. Last year, there were 31 homicides in Mobile. This year there were 23. That's the lowest it has been in at least 10 years, according to the department's 2014 Annual Report.

Sgt. John Angle is over the Homicide Unit. He credits the department's emphasis on hot spot policing with helping to lower the number.

"When you're doing directive patrol, hot spot policing, you are putting pressure on the people who might be carrying guns, and they may not be so quick to use violence because they're not able to carry their gun freely like they might have been without that directive patrol," said Sgt. Angle.

It's a stark contract to what is happening in nearby Prichard, where the homicide rate jumped from 13 last year to 21 this year. That's a 61% increase. To put that in perspective, that's almost one murder for every 1,000 people living in Prichard.

"We've had too many people, too many homicides in Prichard and we need to step our game up as a community and ask our city leaders to see what we can do to help solve these crimes," said Chaplin Patrick Munnerlyn Monday.

Roughly half of Prichard's homicide cases remain unsolved this year. Mobile has yet to make arrests in about 40% of its cases, including Kelei Morris' murder. She was shot and killed in February at her apartment complex.

"Even though we are going into 2016 with nine open cases does not mean we are going to put that in the books, and that's going to be the way that it is. We will continue to work on these cases," said Sgt. Angle.

In Mobile County this year there were four homicides, one remains unsolved. Statewide, Huntsville Police reports 18 homicides. Montgomery Police said there were 39 murders. And in Birmingham this year, police say there were 92 homicides.

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