Columbus mayor responds to concerns of crime

Columbus mayor responds to concerns of crime


A new report released by city officials and law enforcement says crime in Columbus is going down. However, a Rigdon Road murder on April 28 shows there is still work to be done.

Jumunn Morgan, 29, was found dead Tuesday in this apartment complex in Columbus. Neighbors, friends, and family we spoke with did not want to go on camera but told us they are sick of senseless violence breaking up families and taking lives.

Viewers commented on our WTVM facebook page expressing similar feelings. One viewer said, "We are going to get justice," another asked "When is this going to stop," and, "Start reporting where the drugs are. Who's buying and who's selling?"

We sat down with Columbus Mayor Tomlinson on Wednesday to address these concerns. 

"Last year we went 60 days without a murder, this year we just went 110 days without a murder, and so any time you have those very long periods of time that's a very good thing because murders do tend to cluster," said Tomlinson.

The last murder Columbus saw was in January when 33-year-old Gerald Hightower Junior was shot to death off Calvin Avenue. Hightower's family asked for more police presence to help keep the area safe. 

"Where these folks at when we really need them? These police need to be everywhere," they said.

However, Tomlinson explains that in order for neighborhoods to stop being hot beds for criminal activity, people need to do their part to help. She urges people to call 911 when they see crimes being committed.

"A lot of times what happens is they feel like they have to be quiet, secretive, and they're becoming then, unfortunately, part of the problem," said Tomlinson. 

People can also contact police to form neighborhood watch groups. 

"Once you have relationships with your neighbor you can bond together over making your neighborhood more safe and then you become a real partner for our law-enforcement agency," said Tomlinson.

According to a newly-released report from the Columbus Consolidated Government, crime is down in Columbus from the last quarter.

"Overall, there were 1,043 fewer part-one crimes in Columbus, GA in the first quarter than in the last quarter," the report states.

The report says that 2,898 part-one crimes have occurred in the first quarter of 2015, down 26 percent from last quarter, with varying degree of improvements in six of seven criminal categories:
  • Homicide – down by 50 percent
  • Burglary, down by 44 percent
  • Robbery – down by 24 percent
  • Larceny – down by 20 percent
  • Motor vehicle theft – down by 18 percent
  • Aggravated assault – down by five percent
  • Rape stayed the same, according to this report. 
You can read the report by clicking here. The seven tracked crimes were published in the Uniform Crime Report via the FBI.

The report states however, that while homicide is down 60 percent from this time in 2014, the other registered crime statistics remain unchanged or increased by comparison.

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