COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Investigators within the Columbus Police Department are speaking out in light of the recent homicides in the Fountain City.
As Columbus has officially passed last year's total of homicides with four months to go, concerned residents are now asking what has changed.
While Major Gil Slouchick of the Columbus Police Department says Columbus is slightly above average for homicides, but the number of actual murders from that list isn't outrageous compared to other years.
"Every murder is a homicide, but not every homicide is a murder," said Major Gil Slouchick.
Those are what is meant to be words of reassurance by Major Slouchick of the Columbus Police Department.
As the number of yearly homicides continues to climb, many people in Columbus growing concerned.
"We already topped the numbers from last year. I mean, there's something that's got to be done," said Bill Hardy who lives in Columbus.
"It's nothing like when we came up, it's just a great climb in crime, especially since I got older," said Cynthia Burk who also lives in Columbus.
The police department counts only 23 of the homicides as actual voluntary murders. Justifiable homicides are included in the total number of homicides.
But despite what seems like an extremely violent year, Major Slouchick says the area is still somewhat in range.
"Columbus generally has somewhere between 20 and 30 murders a year. Some years have been lower in the lower teens. When you have one murder it's too much. We are a city with 205,000 people. We are a large metropolitan city with those type of problems," said Major Slouchick.
However, Slouchick says with four months left to in the year, Investigators within the Columbus Police Department are working in overdrive, but they can't do it all alone.
"Solving crime in the community is something we do with the citizens of the community. Need to take an active part helping put these people in jail where they can't hurt anybody anymore," said Slouchick.
Columbus also saw an increase in the number of homicides, going up from 17 in 2015 to 23 in 2016.
Slouchick credits most of the actual murders to gang and drug related deaths. Out of the 29 homicides, only 13 have been solved.
If you have any information helpful to police, you are urged to contact the Columbus Police Department at (706) 653-3400.