MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley had strong words Tuesday morning as he and city leaders discussed combatting crime in the capital city.
Finely said there is a myth going around that people aren’t being put in jail because of COVID-19.
“That’s a myth. We’re going to put your ass in jail, because I think it’s important that we get in those communities, we get to those hotspots, that we are actively patrolling now, and we are going to put you in jail because I think that’s the way to go,” Finley said. “So we’ve got to get beyond this myth. We’ve got to get beyond this perception that we are soft on crime.”
Montgomery is investigating 57 homicides this year so far. That is almost a decade high.
Finely says he and the department are reevaluating their strategies and constantly changing the way they police the neighborhoods in the city.
He said his main task right now is addressing the “ugly” uptick in shootings and homicides in the city.
He didn’t want to go into detail, but said the department is putting new initiatives in place right now. He expects residents to see changes in the next few weeks.
He said there will be an increasing presence in neighborhoods.
“We’re going to abate those by being proactive, by being preventive, by working with our partners to show that increase in presence in these areas, to put the right people in jail,” Finley said.
They will be using technology, and law enforcement partners at the state and federal levels to help.
Mayor Steven Reed also spoke. He says public safety is top of mind for his administration.
Reed says there are some things in place that will hopefully soon result in an impact on some of the statistics that we see right now.