COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Crime impacts more than just those involved in it, and although you never want to put a price tag on someone’s life, someone has to pick up the bill when a violent crime happens.
According to the Columbus Police Department, there were 42 homicides last year, the most ever for the city of Columbus. So far this year, the number sits at 23.
City Manager Isaiah Hugely says the price of those homicides add up and the cost might shock you. $2.1 million is a ball park estimate of the cost of one homicide in Columbus or a city its size. On the other hand, when someone survives a gunshot or stab wound, the cost drops to a little under $900,000. Oftentimes, it isn’t just the victim or suspects who are impacted.
“When I saw that the cost of a violent crime like homicide or murder was $2.1 million, I just couldn’t believe it, and a non-fatal shooting would be $894,000, almost 900,000,” said Hugley. “When you start to put all those pieces together, then it’s not quite shocking the price she has presented to me. Tax payers are paying for housing and medical care, the whole works for that individual. So, there’s a devastating cost to the tax payers of this city, this county, or any other city or county. I wish I knew the answer. If I had the answer I’d sell it. I don’t know the answer. We’re in search of the answer. We need the church, we need the community, we need family counseling and involvement. It’s all hands on deck.”
Other cost factors include district attorney and public defenders. Additional costs can also be victim support, police investigations, emergency services, coroner services, burial cost, and medical care like emergency rooms or surgery, according to Hugley.
See a complete breakdown of the total cost of a violent crime in the city of Columbus or other cities its size below.