5 Murders in 5 Days: Montgomery Police Create Plan to Prevent Violent Crimes

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By Heather VacLav

There have been five murders in five days, contributing to 26 homicides in Montgomery this year.

The Montgomery Police Department is busy investigating back to back homicides all week long, but part of solving these crimes, is figuring out ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy says police can not stop these violent crimes until they understand them. But it's easier said then done, so police are getting help from other professionals to devise a plan.

“The leading cause of death for black males in America ages 15-34 is homicide with a bullet at the hand of another black male,” said Dr. Earnest Blackshear, a clinical psychologist at Alabama State University. Blackshear spoke to the media at a police press conference Friday afternoon.

Montgomery Police hired Dr. Blackshear to figure out why so many homicides are happening in the city, and how to prevent murder from happening in the community.

In communities filled with people released from prison, Dr. Blackshear says the moral code goes away and, what he calls the "street code," becomes law.

He says most people committing violent crimes grew up on the streets watching them happen, and because of that, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Blackshear wants to break the cycle early, so he says a big part of the plan will focus on working with kids in Montgomery’s school.

Another part of the plan involves him and other health professionals going into communities suffering the most to create re-entry programs for those coming out of jail and going back into society.

“We need to look at what are the precursors that allow individual to get that angry to shoot another human and end their life and not have any remorse about it,” Dr. Blackshear said.

Chief Murphy wants the community to know these murders are “very disturbing and unacceptable”.

While police do not have a name for their plan, they expect to start it up in the coming weeks. However, the plan won't solve the problem with violent crimes overnight, Dr. Blackshear says it could take at least three years.

Four arrests have been made out of the five murders, and police are still looking for the gunman involved in the shooting of John Scroggins Wednesday on Crouson Street.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Montgomery Police at 334-241-2651.