Citing increasing concerns about violent crime, officials from more than a dozen cities, including Boston, Charlotte, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis, will hold a “summit meeting” Aug. 30 in Washington, D.C., to discuss sudden spikes in homicides, robberies and assaults, USA Today reports. “What we’ve seen happen in the past year across this country deserves all of our attention,” said Charlotte Police Chief Darrel Stephens, citing the first significant jump in homicides and other major crimes in more than a decade. “We need to get a better sense of what is going on.”
Charlotte experienced the same increases in homicides and robberies reported last year nationally. An FBI compilation said overall violent crime was up 2.5 percent in 2005, and homicides increased nearly 5 percent. “Many cities are facing things they haven’t confronted in five or 10 years,” said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum, host of the meeting. “The purpose of this (summit) is not to scare anyone. But there are signs that things are changing. We don’t want to go back to the 1990s when things were out of control.” In many places, violent crime hit all-time highs in the early ’90s when warring criminal groups vied for control of thriving street-drug markets.