TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Overall crime is down this year, but gun crime specifically is up according to the Tucson Police Department.
"This is a firearm related issue in Tucson as it is across the country," Kevin Hall, TPD Assistant Chief, said.
One of the concerns for Hall is that the way these crimes are taking place has changed.
"A lot of our particularly gun related homicides are occurring in a spontaneous manner where the individuals don't know each other," Hall said. "In the past there has been a lot of association between the offender and the victim."
This makes the crimes more difficult to solve, according to Hall. However, with new technology and data analysis, preventing these crimes in the first place has become easier.
"I was pretty confident you couldn't prevent homicides," Hall said about earlier times in his 30 year career with TPD. "That was sort of pie in the sky ideology. I have since that time completely reversed that. I believe you can prevent homicides; specifically gun related homicides and even further gun related homicides that take place in public spaces."
One of the ways they are working to achieve this is through hotspot policing. This is when they will saturate an area that is prone to violent crimes.
"Utilizing science and injecting that into policing to take our scarce resources; our staffing is at a critically low level right now, but using them in a much smarter way so we can be much more efficient so we can make the community much safer," Hall said.
The department is also using the NIBN database to analyze shell casings to connect crimes. They say this helps them connect crimes and catch violent offenders.
Greg Bradbury is a reporter for KGUN 9. Greg is a graduate of Syracuse University where he studied Broadcast Journalism and Spanish. Greg joined KGUN 9 in February 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist after working at the ABC National Desk as a Digital News Associate. Share your story ideas and important issues with Greg by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.