Erie Police Chief Talks Plans For 2013 - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Erie Police Chief Talks Plans For 2013

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2012 was a violent year in the city of Erie.
Today, we sat down with Erie's police chief to hear his plans to curb the violence in 2013.

Last year, there were a lot of gun crimes in the city.
From shots fired, to shootings and homicides, it was a busy year for Erie police.

In 2012, there were 11 homicides in the city of Erie, 8 of those involved a gun.
Two were ruled justified.

In 2012, Erie police also responded to more than 150 shots fired calls.
So overall, the numbers show it was a violent year in the city.

We sat down with Erie Police Chief, Steve Franklin.
He says while there was a steady flow of violent crimes, overall, it wasn't an extremely violent year in the city.
And, he says the department's response to the crime was good.
So, this year, the chief says that work will continue.

"(In 2012) Crime scenes were secured, evidence was gathered, witnesses were gathered. And of course the follow up work by the detectives speaks for itself, we had a number of arrests throughout the year. Many of those were solved and fairly quickly as well. So it's good work by everybody involved." Said Chief Franklin.

Erie police also recovered a significant amount of illegal firearms in 2012.
They took 133 weapons off the streets of Erie last year.

But, the chief says a big challenge they had in 2012 was witnesses and victims not showing up to court to testify. So, charges wound up being dropped, and their hard work is basically tossed.
This year, the chief says they'll focus on not letting the alleged criminals get away.
"It makes it frustrating for us. We have to find ways to work around that and try to get cases together where we can make arrests with or without the potential witnesses. If we need to acquire other witnesses, work harder to get more evidence together, whatever it takes... even though people decide they don't want to help with the investigations." Franklin added.

Chief Franklin say the department will continue to target chronic violent offenders.

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