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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Montgomery, AL, Park Shooting of 8 Update: Police Not Told of Reunion; Crime Down 16% This Year


[Previously:

“‘Crime Falling’ in Montgomery, AL: 8 Shot, Including Children, at Sentimental Reunion of Hundreds of Current and Former Residents of Trenholm Court.”]

Oak Park shootings: Police not told about gathering
By Scott Johnson
7:51 p.m., September 27, 2011-09-28
The Montgomery Advertiser

The Montgomery Police Department was not informed beforehand about a gathering that grew to several hundred people Saturday at Oak Park, police said.
Once police did find out about the gathering and how large it was, people already had been shot, Police Chief Kevin Murphy said Monday.

Three children and five adults were injured in the shooting, which took place during a reunion of current and former Trenholm Court residents.

Police are not releasing the ages of the children but have said that none of the injuries were life- threatening.

Police started receiving calls reporting shots fired at the park at 6:15 p.m. Saturday.
Murphy said Monday that an officer had driven through the park earlier and noticed some people at the park, but said that the crowd was not large at that time.

Murphy, speaking on a radio show Monday afternoon, said the police might have been able to prevent the shooting had someone at the gathering let them know how large it had become.

"I wish somebody would have called and told us, 'Hey, we've got a lot of people here,'" Murphy said, adding that officers could have provided security and a police presence without breaking up the gathering.

Police continue to investigate the shooting, and some details remain unclear.
It is not known how many shooters there were, and the exact motive for the shooting is unclear, said Sgt. Donna Mackey, a police spokeswoman.

It also is too early to say whether it was people taking part in the reunion or outsiders who were responsible for the shooting, Mackey said.


Montgomery crime down 16 percent for the year
Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 9:57 AM Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 10:50 AM
By Christine Kneidinger, al.com

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- A Montgomery Police Department report released today shows that violent crimes in the city have dropped for the third consecutive year, suggesting that the series of initiatives to prevent crime in the Capital City this summer are paying off.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced today that violent crimes have dropped a total of 16.5 percent this year, with non-violent crime rates down one percent for the month.

Strange said that part of the decrease in crime can be attributed to the efforts of the Direct Area Response Team (DART) to crack down on crime by increasing law enforcement presence in the crime-infested areas of the city.

The Response Team, implemented by the Department of Public Safety as part of the Safe Summer Initiative, has been heavily involved in several integrated efforts, including the investigation that led to the arrest of two 16-year-old boys who allegedly assaulted and robbed an elderly couple this week.

Montgomery Department of Public Safety spokesperson Martha Earnhardt said that although the DART program was intended to be a seasonal effort, the department will most likely keep the initiative going due to its success.

Currently there are 528 officers patrolling Montgomery streets and another five in training.

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