RICHMOND, Va. -- Violent crime is on the rise in Richmond with numbers showing a glaring increase in incidents just since last year.
Compared to this time last year, Richmond has seen a 38 percent increase in murders, marking almost a 15 percent increase in shootings.
Two women who were shot on early Monday morning in a suspected drive-by shooting in Mosby Court joined this jarring statistic. One woman suffered critical injuries and the other was left with non-life-threatening wounds.
"It breaks my heart to see this. We worked so hard, so hard for community policing and it has been destroyed," councilwoman Reva Trammell said.
She said that police are unable to keep up with the crime because there aren't enough officers doing the job. She calculates that more than 100 officers who were sworn to protect and serve their community are no longer in the field.
"You have to account for maternity leave, military leave, officers that are out on sick leave or sitting behind a desk for whatever reason. Plus, those who have left to go to neighboring counties," Trammell said.
She said that Richmond has let a lot of talented officers walk away and that neighborhoods in all areas of the city are starting to feel the effects. With violence trending upward, there have been 42 murders this year compared to 29 at this time last year.
So far, there have been 140 people shot in 2021 compared to 119 in 2020.
"They need better pay, better incentives. They need a reason to stay here in Richmond," Trammell said.
Currently, she sits on the city council's public safety committee. She said that her constituents are becoming restless as different facets of the judicial system show serious flaws.
"You go to court, it's a joke in those courtrooms. It's a joke. Our officers put their lives on the line to lock these people up and then what happens. It not only tells you they don't give a damn about our officers but they don't give a damn about this city either."
Crime Insider sources say that the actual number of murders is higher, including a murder that state police are handling plus two other victims in grave condition.