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A new set of numbers released by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department suggests 2020 was a record year for violent crimes especially homicides. Up by 16 percent from last year.

An astounding 122 homicides were reported by CMPD last year, matching the same total from 1993 despite a seven week Stay-at-Home order in place earlier in the year. WBT’s Brett Jensen was the first to report the previous record of 129 homicides set 27 years ago was reduced by seven. This came with CMPD’s careful examination of the prior cases and accurately making a reclassification.

Overall, homicides in Charlotte were up 18% and aggravated assaults were up 29% from 2019.

“Nothing is more frustrating for me as a police chief than to be on a homicide scene or hear about a homicide scene where a 16 or 15-year-old has been shot and killed and to find out it was a 15 or 16-year-old who committed the crime and that’s disturbing to me,” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in reducing other crimes in the Queen’s City.  Home burglaries were down by 31%, rapes down by 17%, and robberies down by 8% with more people being at home. A reported 2,265 firearms were taken off the streets, a 9% increase from the previous year.

A success for reporting crimes as well. Crime Stoppers took over 3,200 tips from the public which is a record for the Charlotte area.

CMPD has several new policies, like no chokehold being used with a suspect in police custody or shooting at a moving vehicle. This is part of the ‘ 8 Can’t-Wait’ rules to better deescalate situations.

Another change for CMPD will be the way officers respond to emergencies. Text 911 is available when you can’t call dispatchers.