CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With 30 homicides since the first of the year, it was a surprise to no one today when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced the crime rate for the first quarter of the year is up 4.5 percent.
The most glaring category was in homicides where there was an increase of over 90 percent.
At the end of March there had been 21 homicides and since the end of March, there have been 11 more.
Deputy Chief Jeff Estes who discussed the stats at a weekly briefing with reporters said if you look at the stats for the last five years, the rate is actually going down.
“So I hope you can see the stats from five years to one year to where we are today, we are trending in the right direction,” said Estes.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, some members of the police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, complained of a lack of support and one officer said the so-called “Ferguson effect” was in play, meaning some officers were inclined to look the other way if a crime is being committed, rather than have their actions second-guessed.
Asked about that, Estes said, “Can I say no officer feels the Ferguson effect? No.”
But Estes pointed out since April, on-duty officers have made arrests at the scene of 19 active crimes, and he said that did not see the Ferguson-like effect to him.
He said he can’t speak for every rank and file officer and the Union can’t either.
“I would be very cautious to say anyone speaks for every rank and file member,” Estes said.