EDITORIAL: Homicide rate down for 2017 so far

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

Numbers don’t lie. This year there have been five homicides inside the city limits of Selma. That’s five too many. However, at this point last year, the Selma Police Department had already investigated 10 murders, which means the homicide rate is down 50 percent at this point of the year.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier told the Selma City Council Tuesday night during its meeting arrests have been made in four out of five homicides. The only one an arrest has not been made in is the murder of 62-year-old Charlie Sanders, who was robbed and shot to death in his driveway while leaving for work one morning in May.

The council and police department reminded people Tuesday that there is a $3,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Sanders’ death.

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While one homicide is too many, the rate has slowed down, and we hope it stays that way and continues to decrease.

For the department to have made arrests in four out of five murders this year is also a positive. Out of 16 homicides in the city in 2016, arrests were only made in six cases. There are 10 homicides from 2016 that remain unsolved.

We’re not sure what the difference is, but it appears arrests are being made more quickly than in year’s past. While the department is not perfect, changes in the last seven months seem to be making a difference.

Law enforcement have also told us that people have started to speak up more and more, which is a good thing. People serve as the eyes and ears of law enforcement when they are not around.

We hope the department can continue to make an impact on crime in Selma.