Homicides were up 19 percent in Charlotte in the first six months of this year, the Charlotte Observer reports. Police investigated the same number of killings in those months as they did in the first half of 2005, when slayings reached a 10-year high. Two police officers, a newborn baby, and three teenagers were among the 38 slain during the first half of this year. “People need to be concerned about the amount of violence we have in our community,” Chief Darrel Stephens said. “Should they worry about becoming a victim? It depends on their lifestyle.”
Stephens said people who follow the law, manage conflict without violence, and aren’t in violent relationships with relatives or intimate partners are at lower risk. “People worry about being confronted by a stranger and losing their life,” Stephens said. “It happens, but that’s not a very common thing. In the cases in which detectives believe they know who the killer was, just three victims had no relationship with their killer; two of them were the police officers. Police have focused on reducing robberies by creating a special unit to work robbery-prone areas. In hopes of reducing the number of repeat offenders, they worked with court officials to put a curfew on robbery suspects awaiting trial out of jail.