12 INVESTIGATES: How police are working to prevent another viole - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

12 INVESTIGATES: How police are working to prevent another violent September

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September of last year was the deadliest month in Richmond since January of 2006. Detectives saw 11 homicides in just 30 days.

With the first of the month quickly approaching, NBC12 wanted to know what police are doing to make sure this doesn't happen again. Police and Richmonders were frightened by that violence. They say much has changed in the year that's passed and those changes are easing fears of a possible repeat.

In September of 2012, the mayor and then-Police Chief Bryan Norwood, who didn't always get along, came together to reassure the city. Still, the blue lights and crime-scene tape seemed to be everywhere.

"I'll be truthful, when you have a lot of guns going off, it scares you because you're actually scared to go out your front door," said longtime Oak Grove resident John Ellis.

Of the 11 homicides in September of last year, six of them happened on the south side in neighborhoods like Oak Grove.

Ellis says in the 11 months since then, police have made a dent in the crime there.

He feels more comfortable this year after, "seeing police on bicycles, walking, parking in troubled areas, observing more and it just makes me feel a whole lot better."

With the first of the month just days away, we asked police their strategy for keeping Richmond safe this September.

"We really look at what's trending now, where our violence is occurring, what's happening in the city right now and we always keep an eye to what happened last year this time," Major Crimes Capt. Emmett Williams said.

Police have cleared seven of the eleven cases from last September. They explain from a statistics perspective, there's no real way to figure out why those numbers spiked, but Williams maintains there's no fear within the department it could see another September similar to 2012.

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