Despite recent southside violent crimes, police say numbers down

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jul 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-26 23:43:58-04

Richmond, Va. (WTVR)--The shooting death of a Family Dollar worker in South Richmond has left some in the city questioning if the Southside has a problem with violent crime, but the Richmond Police Department said the numbers beg to differ.

Tonishia Cannon watches as Richmond Police investigate a shooting at an apartment complex Thursday afternoon, in the 1400 block of Hull Street in Richmond.

A female was shot and suffered non-life threatening injuries, but it's a scene Cannon said she sees too often in South Richmond.

“It's like it's getting out of control really,” said Cannon.  “It's like some people don't even care if the police are out.”

However, according to the Richmond Police Department, violent crime, even in some of the most notorious areas of Southside, is actually down.

Police officials say in the past 30 days they have seen an 83% drop in violent crime along the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.

In sector 213, which sits in the middle of the corridor, violent crime is down 28% in 2012 compared to the same time period last year.

“They are really working hard.  And it takes people helping people, people working together and with policemen to help solve some of these crimes,” said  Mary Karn, who has lived in South Richmond for more than 23 years.

Even though police say violent crime is down in the area, evidence of the constant battle they fight in Southside still remains. 

On Tuesday night, Richmond Police said 51-year-old Milton Jackson was shot and killed during a robbery attempt as he left work at the Family Dollar store at the 3100 block of Jefferson Davis Highway.

“My heart goes out to that family.  It was a senseless act of crime,” says Councilwoman Reva Trammell, 8th District. She lives less than a mile from where Jackson was killed.

But to Trammell, explaining the recent drop in violent crime stats in her district is simple.

“It's because the community works well with the police chief and with those officers, and they know them.  It's called community policing, and I know the police are going to solve this,” said Trammell.

Ezell Lee lives in the apartment complex on Hull Street where the women was shot Thursday.

Lee thinks it is difficult to prevent crime, no matter the area, but he hopes people don't become desensitized from seeing its aftermath.

“You don't know what' going to happen and when it's going to happen,” said Lee.  “So you have to always be on alert, but I don't think people are that insensitive that when something happens they say, 'Oh, well.  It happened to them and not to me.'’

“I think everybody feeling the crunch of violence,” he added.