CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New details from CMPD reveal violent crimes were at an all-time high in 2020.
Violent crimes jumped 16% in Charlotte last year, homicides leading the way.
121 homicides were reported last year, hitting the same record numbers in 1993. A lot of the victims were young men.
"Nothing is more frustrating for me as a police chief than to be on a homicide scene or hear about a homicide scene where a 16 or 15-year-old has been shot and killed and to find out it was a 15 or 16-year-old who committed the crime and that's disturbing to me," CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said.
From civil unrest to the pandemic, Police Chief Johnny Jennings said this year has been challenging for CMPD.
Homicides were up 18% and aggravated assaults were up 29% from 2019.
"Focus more on violent crime plaguing our community, we can't always arrest our way out of a situation and we know that," Jennings said. "You have my commitment that we as a department will continue to focus on violent crimes, were going to come up with ways and strategize every way that we can to ensure we're doing our part to keep those numbers down."
Chief Jennings said he's committed to creating solutions in 2021, by working with city and community leaders.
CMPD will continue their Violence Interruption Program, a cross-departmental team committed to developing a violence reduction strategy driven by research and data.
As well as the Corridor of Opportunity, ensuring that 6 different corridors, including Beatties Ford Road, get the resources and businesses they need to live and thrive.
"Our citizens are going to and have had a say in how we police," Jennings said.
2,265 illegal guns were taken off the streets, 9% more than in 2019.
Meanwhile, other crimes were down in 2020. Robberies down by 8%, rapes down by 17%, and home burglaries down by 31%.
"A lot of that now I can say is due to the pandemic and COVID, and people staying home," Jennings said.
2020 also brought in policy changes. 8 Can't-Wait adopted by CMPD, banning things like chokeholds and prohibiting officers from shooting at moving cars.
"I'm proud of the work done in 2020," Jennings said.
Crime Stoppers also had a historical year with over 3,200 tips given to law enforcement.
"That's just phenomenal work and great work that helps our detectives develop leads," Jennings said.
Officer complaints and use of force incidents were also down.
2020 also brought several new initiatives, like the ability to text 911 when you can't call in an emergency.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the original report, CMPD said 122 homicides were reported in 2020. On Jan. 12, CMPD announced that an Oct. 3 homicide case had been classified as 'justified,' and no one will be charged. CMPD confirms this makes 2020's total homicide count 121.