LMPD chief questioned by Metro Council members about city's rising homicide rate
Metro Council members grilled LMPD's top cop about violence in the city.
Despite an uptick in homicides this year compared to the same time in 2016, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad told Metro Council on Monday that his officers are doing their best to prevent as many violent crimes as possible.
Conrad addressed Metro Council's Public Safety Committee on Monday, fielding questions about how to fix the city's violence.
"This last year, we had a terrible year," Conrad said. "Property crime was up, violent crime was up, obviously total crime was up, and we're trying to deal with that."
Conrad admits it's been a tough year fighting crime. The city's 20 homicides are up seven from this time last year. Non-fatal shootings are down, but they're still a concern for council members.
"The difference between a fatality and a shooting is bullet placement, so we could easily have had more homicides," David James (D-6) said.
"We would just like to have what the whole picture is, to address the concerns and to get to the level of service that our citizens need to feel like they're living in a safe community," Angela Leet (R-7) said.
"A year ago, two years ago, five years ago, there was no way I was going to be able to look forward and say that's what our needs would be," Conrad replied.
Conrad announced LMPD is hiring 150 officer recruits this year, the most in the department's history.
"We don't have enough police officers, and that is a big piece of this puzzle," James said.
Council members also inquired about officer-involved shootings.
"People ask me all the time, 'Why did they have to shoot with such intent to harm that person?'" Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4) asked.
There have been 15 officer-involved shootings in the past five years, the most recent happening last week.
"They're going to shoot at a person's center mass for the most part," Conrad said. "The reason they do that is because it's the biggest part of any person."
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