Even with confinement due to a pandemic, gun violence in Kalamazoo saw rising numbers in 2020 and police think there maybe a reason or two as to why.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the entire justice system, making it even harder to hold people accountable for their crimes, and now more than ever we need the assistance of our community to bring an end to these egregious crimes." — Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Police Chief Vernon Coakley

 

Here are the latest stats from our good friend at News Channel 3 Hannah Knowles:

Programs scaled back by the financial strife caused by Covid-19 have forced positive community programs like Pastors On Patrol and the Group Violence Initiative which have been found to help diffuse situations and prevent escalation to gun violence in the city, are no more.

"Due to the pandemic, we have been forced to scale these programs back and we attribute the recent rise in gun violence to our inability to operate these critical programs leading to an uptick in shootings in 2020," Coakley said. -WMMT

Kalamazoo police are calling on the whole community to help with the effort to reduce gun violence in Kalamazoo.

"We all have a role to play in ending violence in our community and it’s vital we all do our part," he said. "I also want to thank the first responders at KDPS and the medical first responders on the front lines responding to these crimes. The only way we will reduce and eventually put an end to gun violence is if we all do our part." - WMMT

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A Nearly Empty Kalamazoo