Columbus homicide rate down 50% compared to June 2021

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Last year the Fountain City experienced an alarming number of homicides: 71 total. Now that We’re halfway through 2022, we’re looking into how the city is doing so far this year compared to last.

June 15, 2021, Columbus had already experienced 36 homicides. Exactly one year ago, the city has seen less than half: 17.

News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams talked with Columbus Police to find out what’s contributing to this positive change in decrease of violence.

“We have continued to persevere and continued to do what we’re supposed to do in our police department,” Deputy Chief Ronnie Hastings explained. “Anything that is in the interest of the Columbus Police Department is in the interest for all the citizens that we work for.”

2021: a year when 71 people were killed due to gun violence in Columbus, and a number that concerned many throughout the Chattahoochee Valley. Thanks to proactive policing, Deputy Chief Hastings explained why the number of homicides in the first six months of 2022 is half the amount we saw last year.

This, mostly due to crime suppression details with help from outside agencies including the Georgia State Patrol.

“We go out looking for people who have outstanding warrants for murder, aggravated assault, self offenses, serious part one crimes, violent offenders... those are the one we’re looking for.”

You may recall-- this year, there have been several multi-day details involving the GBI. Also, Hastings said the department has had to work many more hours, plus rely more on technology because of the lack of manpower.

“Now with less human resources, we have to reach and stream line, shorten the amount of time to accomplish things or eliminate certain tasks a human doesn’t have to perform at all.”

Out of the 71 homicides in 2021, 36 of the 64 murders have been cleared. One active warrant is out for 22 year old Mikita Leonard, a suspect in a murder from last October. Out of the 17 homicides this year,

Warrant and traffic details also contribute to the crack down on violent crime.

Hastings told us that most homicides are due to gun violence.

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