Montgomery Murder Rate Declines After Centennial Hill Bar Shooting


By Ashley Thompson

The city has recorded just one homicide so far this year,  which is certainly a change from last year when the city had 14 murders at this time.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the deadly shootings at Centennial Hill Bar and Grill changed the air in Montgomery.

"There was so much emotion over those eight shootings and three deaths there, that I just felt a shift in the attitude about, truly enough is enough," he says. "So many people, so many organizations rallied around that situation."

And some agree, saying the murder of well-known rapper Doe B especially took many by surprise.

"That tragedy was a wake up call for the community. Not just here but in Alabama as a whole because he touched so many lives in the urban community.

But Police Chief Kevin Murphy says it's hard to pinpoint exactly why the homicide rate has leveled off.

"I don't know if you can point to any one thing and say definitively that's why the homicide rate has abated to some degree," he says. "We're trying very hard, as I said a moment ago, we're trying programs both short term and long term."

Operation Hammer, which helps to get illegal guns off the streets and Operation Good Shepherd, which connects pastors with crime victims are just two of those programs. Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper tells us he and Chief Murphy like to exchange ideas on how to reduce crime. He says there's no one way to stop homicides from happening but says certain ones will have a positive impact.

"The thing about a major incident like this is that it does create a greater sense of urgency, awareness and sensitivity," Roper explains. "Not just in the police department but also in the community so there are times when the community members will say you know, enough is enough."





So what's caused the drop in violence, if anything?