CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With less than a month left in 2022, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area has seen more homicides than it did in 2021.
Murders are happening across Mecklenburg County and faith leaders say it’ll take several solutions to do something about it.
“Gun violence is increasing around the country,” Reverend Glencie Rhedrick with the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice told WCNC Charlotte.
In 2021, 94 people were killed in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, according to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, 102 lives have been taken as of Dec. 7, 2022.
Rhedrick said two parts of the solution are education and mental health resources.
“I think a lot of times, persons who are using gun violence really are not aware of the impact that it not only has on them, but their families and the families of the victims,” Rhedrick added.
Most homicides from 2015 to 2020 happened in low-income areas among Black men ages 18 to 34, according to Mecklenburg County's Office of Violence Prevention. The office unveiled a plan in October to reduce homicides and gun-related violence by 10% in five years.
"We need to be working upstream with younger people to address this issue,” head of the office Tracie Campbell told county commissioners in October.
The strategy hopes to create safer communities by offering family support programs and more economic opportunities for at-risk individuals.
Reverend Rhedrick added that teaching children conflict resolution tactics is important too.
The county’s violence reduction plan looks at strategies from a public health perspective and does not include policing strategies. CMPD is down 300 officers and is bolstering its pay and bonuses in hopes of filling those positions.
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