RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In an update to the City Council on Friday on the 2022 Crime Statistics in Raleigh, Chief of Police Estella Patterson said while 2022 was a difficult year, it was a fruitful one in moving the organization forward, as Patterson detailed how Raleigh Police will work to mitigate crime.
"We did see crime increases that personally, I was disappointed in seeing," Patterson said and attributed some of it in part to staffing shortages and the city's growth.
"We are working diligently at the PD to fill our vacancies, but we know that the growth is here to stay and we just have to work with all our other departments, our other partners to be able to keep the crime levels down."
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There were 49 reported homicides in Raleigh in 2022. Most notably, the Raleigh mass shooting on Oct. 13.
"Seventeen of the murders were a result of disputes between the suspect and the victim," Patterson said.
There's also hotspots in Raleigh where violent crime seems to repeat, including the New Bern Avenue corridor and Capital Boulevard. In January, a Raleigh teen was shot and killed at least two miles away from the New Bern Avenue area.
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"Along with the disturbing trend of shots being fired is the fact that we're seeing more and more of juveniles engaged in violent behavior, particularly between the ages of 14-17," Patterson said. "More and more of our juveniles are victimizing and they are being victimized themselves."
Six of the 49 homicide victims in 2022 were juveniles, according to Patterson, who said many of the firearms end up in the hands of juveniles.
There was a significant decrease in the number of drive-by shootings and shooting into dwellings in 2022, compared to 2021, but Patterson said she's still disturbed by these types of calls.
"The reality is, when a weapon is discharged, those rounds are going somewhere," Patterson said. "Our messaging has to continue to be around gun safety and to really go after those individuals who are committing those violent crimes."
Before Patterson briefed the City Council on the latest crime statistics, gun violence advocates presented what's necessary to reduce gun violence in the area.
President of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP branch Gerald Givens listed a few takeaways, including working with WakeMed for a hospital violence intervention program, assembling a violence interrupter team and use cognitive behavior therapy for young people at risk of being involved in violent crime.
They called for more funding in order to support this work.