***Watch the full interview with Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green in the video above***
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — In the last month, Lansing has seen seven homicides. For the year, they’ve had 19 victims in 16 homicide cases.
That is six more homicides than the capital city saw in 2019, and eight more than they saw in 2018.
“First and foremost, we as a community need to come together so that we can send that message to violent offenders that we will just not tolerate them terrorizing our neighborhoods,” Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green said.
Above is an interactive map where you can see where all of the homicides happened in Lansing in 2019 and 2020. The ones highlight in blue are from 2019, and the ones in red are from 2020.
Green said the LPD currently has five open cases but many of the cases have solid leads.
“I have a good team, a good violent crime initiative, those are the positives.”
The negatives? It is not just homicides that are up in Lansing. Violent crime as whole is up, Green said.
“We can look at the percentage increase of stolen firearms, up 22 percent,” Green said. “Last year around this time we were around 143, we’re at 175 right now. That in itself is concerning to us. Many of our violent offenders are using stolen firearms, and so I can’t advocate enough for people to lock and store their firearms accordingly.”
There’ve been two violent crimes just this week. Last night, a woman was shot on the 700 block of West Willow in Lansing and was hospitalized. This morning, two cars were involved in a shooting in the area of Marion Ave & Loraine Ave. The video was caught on a local resident’s doorbell camera.
“Marion, I heard about that incident, the good thing is that we were able to get some leads, that’s probably as much as I should say about it at this point, but it is trending in the right direction,” Green said.
Marion Ave was also the location for a homicide on Nov. 11. When Green was asked about possible changes in plans for 2021 and if they will increase patrol on Marion Ave as part of that, he said they do the best they can with the resources they have.
“Our resources, just like everyone else’s resources, are limited. We have to use them effectively and efficiently. And when you have an area that’s experiencing an increase we do our best to attack that area with an increased amount of directed, invisible patrols.”
Green said COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the LPD and also for the people of the area, but it shouldn’t be used as a reason for increased crime.
“I’m not going to allow us as a community to use COVID-19 as an excuse for the tragic numbers we’re seeing involving violence,” Green said. “I’m just not going to allow that to happen.”
Green said one of the biggest challenges for the LPD has been trying to maintain and build relationships in the community while following COVID-19 protocols.
“Definitely our interaction with the community has been lessened,” Green said. “In a normal year, we’d have well over more than 400 positive interactions and engagements with community members to establish and strengthen the bond because I think it’s very critical that we get that information we need from the public.”
It is crucial that if you see something or know something about a crime, that you forward that information to the police, Green said.
“It is a very small number of people that are involved in violence in our community,” Green said. “However, until we’re able to strengthen that relationship in the community and regain, foster, that trust that the community has in us, our efforts as investigators are hampered.”
When it comes to the big rise in homicide cases in the last month, seven since Nov. 9, Green said you have to look at the big picture.
“You have to look at the environment we are in with COVID-19, you have to also look at the economy, you have to look at our education systems, you have to look at host of different things when you talk about crime and what motivates people to engage in crime,” Green said.