Cleveland's homicide rate on the rise - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's homicide rate on the rise, council & residents prepare to take action

A memorial made for Jock Oliver. (Source: WOIO) A memorial made for Jock Oliver. (Source: WOIO)
Family and friends at Oliver's vigil. (Source: WOIO) Family and friends at Oliver's vigil. (Source: WOIO)
Zack Reed and our Jen Picciano went over murder rates in the wards before the city council meetings. (Source: WOIO) Zack Reed and our Jen Picciano went over murder rates in the wards before the city council meetings. (Source: WOIO)

Cleveland's murder rate has soared this summer, and at least one City Council member says the Mayor is not doing enough to fight the violence.

There have been 23 homicides since the beginning of June, 66 for the year. That's higher than the last five years. Leaders in the city are saying enough is enough, and they're ready to do more than just talk about it.

The crime scenes seem to blend together. Cars riddled with bullet holes, and neighborhoods draped in yellow tape. Countless vigils held by loved ones of murder victims.

But there's a face, and a life attached to them all. Like Jock Oliver, a 47-year-old father shot in the back while he worked on a neighbor's car. His widow is scared for her children while his murder remains unsolved.

"I am fearful for them, I'm not staying at my house right now. Kids have seen people going into this vacant house behind us here," she said.

Mayor Jackson is betting that going after guns, with tougher registration laws, will curb crime.

Councilman Zack Reed says that won't do enough to slow the murder rate. In his ward, it's up 120 percent.

Reed says he'd like to see police make more use of technology.

"You can use surveillance cameras, body cameras for the officers, cameras in the police cars, all these things work to create a safer environment," said Reed.

He wants the neighborhoods to trust the police again, but he says that will take more one-on-one police interaction.

"They know who the criminals are. They need to get out of those cars, get in the faces of those criminals and let ‘em know this is a good neighborhood. I'm going to be patrolling here. You better watch yourself because I'm watching you," he said.

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