Police put the heat on crime this summer

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers are taking new steps this summer to keep violent crimes from turning deadly. The moves come after the department noticed a troublesome spike in gun crimes.

For instance, someone called a cab to Brenda Court near North Graham Street Thursday night and the cabbie told Eyewitness News four suspects came toward his cab.

One of them put a gun in his face and demanded money.

“They said, ‘Don't move. Give me everything you have,’” the cab driver said.

The cabbie, still frightened over the incident, said he could have been killed.

Maj. Jeff Estes said this summer, CMPD is working to stay ahead of crimes like this.  The department has assigned officers from its 13 divisions to focus on preventing gun crimes citywide.

“We've seen an increase in gunshot cases. We take that very seriously,” said Estes.

Officers on the team will patrol heavy crime areas, monitor chronic offenders and look into crime patterns and trends.

In April, Eyewitness News reported on one of those trends -- young people were robbing Hispanic men as they walked near Albemarle Road. In most of the cases, the suspect used a gun.

“One wrong move and that person could be the victim of a homicide,” said Estes.

Eyewitness News asked if the initiative would draw coverage away from the areas these officers would normally cover. Estes said this would actually guarantee better coverage because officers would be monitoring areas where crime is happening.