Hear Highlights from “Issues & Ales: Crime in the Greater Birmingham Area”

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There’s a perception that crime is on the rise in and around Birmingham. What’s really happening? Is fear changing our behavior and affecting relationships in our communities? How can Birmingham and surrounding communities work to reduce violent crime? On Thursday, March 10 Local law enforcement officials and community members met to discuss crime and brainstorm solutions for WBHM’s “Issues and Ales: Crime in the Greater Birmingham Area.”

Issues and Ales panelists and WBHM staff.
Issues and Ales panelists and WBHM staff.
Beau Gustafson

Panelists included:

– Dr. Ammie Akin, Executive Director of Better Basics
– Dr. Jarralynne Agee of The Birmingham Violence Reduction Initiative
– Carolyn Johnson-Turner, founder of Birmingham’s Parents Against Violence Foundation
– Former inmate Carmone Owens
– Sergeant John Pennington from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama
– Captain Scott Praytor from the Birmingham Police Department and The First 48 on A&E
– Walladean B. Streeter, President of the Bush Hills neighborhood
– Jeffery T. Walker of the UAB Department of Justice Sciences

Why Metro Birmingham Homicides Are Up

Metro Birmingham had a streak last fall – eight killings in six days. The rash of homicides stretched from Hueytown to Homewood to Tarrant. The area’s murder rate rose in 2017 for the third consecutive year. Government and law enforcement officials in Birmingham and Jefferson County say there are challenges to what some have dubbed a crisis.

A Day in the Life of a Birmingham Walking Beat Cop

Homicide rates are on the rise across the country. In Birmingham, the city finished 2015 with a dramatic 55 percent increase. In response, law enforcement is stepping up efforts to combat violent crime. One key element is to add more face-to-face engagement between police and the community through old fashioned walking beats.

Crime in Greater Birmingham: Literacy as Long-Term Prevention?

Police and prosecutors try to fight crime in the streets and in the courts every day. But how do you fight the long-term root causes of crime? Some people think you do it in small school rooms, one lesson at a time.

Crime in Greater Birmingham: Impact of Social Media

Elizabeth Sanfelippo is an energy consultant who lives in Birmingham’s upscale Highland Park neighborhood. She grew up outside of Birmingham, and lived in Vermont and New York before coming back to her beloved hometown. When she wants to know what’s happening in the area, she picks up her smartphone and presses a green icon with a white house on it, opening the Nextdoor app.

U.S. Marshal Talks Crime, Collaboration and Change

You probably remember westerns where with U.S. Marshals ride into town and take on criminals. Well in real life in North Central Alabama, it’s U.S. Marshal Marty Keely who leads the team capturing federal criminals and works through a regional task force to fight crime.