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Except for violent incidents, crime was actually down in Montgomery in 2020 – Montgomery Advertiser

It’s an undisputable fact that 2020 was a violent and deadly year in Montgomery. 

More people were killed at the hands of others since the 1970s, the earliest crime statistics that are publicly available online by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. 

Violent crime — including homicides, felony sex cases, robbery and assault — outpaced at least the previous two years. There was a 21% increase over 2019, a trend many cities across the nation experienced last year. 

Meanwhile, property crimes decreased more than 19%, likely because more people were working from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore decreasing opportunities for home burglary and vehicle theft. 

Despite the increase in violent crimes, the decrease in property incidents put such a dent in overall crime totals that reported incidents for all Part One offenses were down by nearly 14% from 2019 to 2020. 

Violent crimes

There were 377 people shot in 2020 across Montgomery County, the majority of of which were in the city. Most of them survived, but 75 died. Not all of those 75 deaths were considered homicide investigations, though, and one of those victims was killed in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. 

It was an unprecedented year for death and homicide investigations for the Montgomery Police Department. 

‘I need your help’: Montgomery Police chief calls on community amid city’s record homicide rate

Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley holds a press conference at MPD headquarters in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020.

Montgomery police Chief Ernest Finley, looking frustrated and beleaguered, took to the microphone late last month to address the rise in homicides. 

“We got to control our emotions,” he said of community members who were resorting to violence. “We have to learn how to walk away.”

While there were 26 more homicide investigations in 2020 than 2019, the increase in assaults was equally astounding. According to crime reports provided by the police department, 135 more people were injured in assaults last year than the year before. 

The were about a 44% increase in domestic violence assaults in 2020, an unfortunate likelihood with more people staying at home and stress on relationships amid the pandemic, Marjorie Baker, director of One Place Family Justice Center in Montgomery, said. 

Property Crime

Property crimes in Montgomery began low for the year.

During the summer months, when burglaries and thefts had a tendency to increase in years’ past, they instead remained low. 

Every criminal offense included in the umbrella of property crimes was down last year, according to the statistics provided by MPD. 

All crimes — burglary, theft, theft from vehicles and theft of vehicles — decreased by more than 17% with the exception of larceny from cars, which decreased by about 14%. 

Police took 658 fewer reports for general theft in 2020 when compared to 2019. 

Burglaries were down about 26%, the highest decrease of the year. 

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus

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