Montgomery police chief makes plea to apartment complexes

Montgomery police chief makes plea to apartment complexes

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Capital City’s total number of homicides this year rose to 63 on Saturday after a fatal shooting on Virginia Pines Lane.

Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley addressed the city’s homicide rate Monday, saying “enough is enough.”

His news conference focused on the apartment complexes in the city.

Five of the most recent homicides in Montgomery have occurred at apartment complexes. This year, 13 apartment complexes have had a minimum of one homicide.

There have been three homicides this year at Ravenwood Apartments off East South Boulevard, the chief said.

Nine of the 13 complexes don’t have security and seven of them don’t have camera systems, according to Finley.

The chief pleaded with apartment complexes to step it up when it comes to security.

The department is trying to work with apartment complexes to create a partnership and is “stretching resources” to help address safety measures.

“We are committed to put our resources in communities to develop relationships,” Finley said.

Finley gave an example with one complex, Gibbs Village. He said the department has been meeting with the complex monthly to address concerns.

When asked about the cause of the uptick in deadly gun crime across the city, Finley said it comes down to emotions.

“This is a combination of people are angry, people just want to do things themselves without letting law enforcement, the [district attorney] and the courts handle those criminal acts that take place,” Finley said.

Finley said the people involved in the capital city’s homicides generally know one another, and the city’s most recent homicide involved “lifestyle issues.”

“We have to control our emotions. Learn how to walk away and live another day,” Finley added.

The chief elaborated on one of the tactics the department is using to combat violence. It’s called the TIDE unit. Finley described the unit as a proactive group that works with the U.S. Marshals Service and other state agencies to identify shooters, gang members and repeat offenders.

“They are working with those other state and federal partnerships to find a reason and to put those individuals that need to go, put them in jail,” Finley added.

Finley also mentioned the department’s use of the STAR Watch program and increasing foot patrols in areas the department has identified that need assistance.

“I am just hoping for the best. I know that it is holiday season. We are working hard, and we will continue to work hard during the holiday season. Our job is to make Montgomery safe,” Finley added.

The goal and hope is 2021 will be better and less violent.

Ravenwood Apartments declined to comment publicly.

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