CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After being sworn in for a second term as Charlotte mayor, Vi Lyles announced that the Charlotte City Council will make reducing the homicide rate a priority in 2020.
In a speech to a packed Government Center chamber, Lyles said that, in January, the Charlotte City Council will take a deep look at the data around the city's 103 homicides to explore what neighborhoods are seeing the most violence and what can be done to address it.
"I am hoping we will find out what is causing these events and we can zero in on it," Lyles said. "You research what has gone wrong, you find out what changes can be made and you target very specifically the actions."
Several Charlotte City Council members used their speeches Monday night to proclaim reducing the homicide rate as a top priority for the next council. Councilman Malcolm Graham called on city leaders to address the problem as a public health crisis.
"There has to be a lot more cooperation between the city, county and health department," Graham said. "We have got to get in our churches, mosques and synagogues and talk about what is happening in Charlotte."
Councilman Ed Driggs said the city has to work with the district attorney's office and court system to keep violent repeat offenders behind bars.
"At the end of the day, this goes beyond the boundaries of city government," Driggs said.
As the members of the Charlotte City Council were being sworn in, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigated the 103rd homicide of the year. In 2018, there were 58 homicides.
"We are looking at 103 lives, and even one is too many," Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera said.
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