Officials in many cities say they are worried that the recent increase of violent crime will continue into the summer months as COVID-related shutdowns and restrictions lift, reports the Washington Post. Kathy M. Sheehan, the mayor of Albany, N.Y., has asked for help from state and federal officials to control the violence as the city struggles with what Sheeran describes as a “startling” increase in illegal guns. Sheehan is worried that re-opening preventative programs like the community outreach programs closed due to COVID won’t be enough. In Atlanta, where homicide rates are up 50 percent over this time last year, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms suggested that lasting emotional and psychological issues found in long-haul victims of COVID-19 are one reason for the violence. Even as cities begin to open up, Jeffery Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says that the factors that drove last year’s violence are unlikely to subside.