Toledo police chief responds to increased violence - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo police chief responds to increased violence

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Since Sunday, Toledo police opened investigations into at least six incidents involving gun violence. Of those incidents, eight people received some sort of gunshot wound. Three of the eight are dead.

The latest shooting took the lives of two recent high school graduates in south Toledo. The shootings marked the 34th homicide investigation in 2017 in Toledo. Toledo Police Chief George Kral says it is time for the violence to stop. 

In a statement released on Facebook Wednesday, Chief Kral said police and the community must work together to fight back against the violence.

"Toledo Police have and continue to make concerted efforts to work with our state and federal partners to target violent offenders," Chief Kral said in his statement. With that said, this is a community problem that cannot be solved without community action."

He encouraged community members to get involved in block watch programs or similar organizations. Chief Kral also encouraged community members to get involved in stopping at-risk youths from becoming violent offenders by getting involved in mentoring programs.

Despite the recent increase in shooting, Chief Kral says the overall crime numbers and violent crime incidents are down from 2015 and 2016. He also assured residents police are continuing to target problem areas in the city and confiscate weapons from violent offenders.

The full statement says:

As many of you know, the City of Toledo experienced an increase in senseless violence during the last few days. The tragic, cold-blooded double homicide of Gregory Stone and Deiyana Porter yesterday leaves family members mourning and raises concern throughout the neighborhood.

Enough is enough – as a community we cannot stand for this senseless violence. For those with knowledge of these homicides, SPEAK UP. For those with knowledge of young people with firearms, SPEAK UP. Your Toledo Police officers continue to put in long hours investigating these unnecessary deaths. Toledo Police have and continue to make concerted efforts to work with our state and federal partners to target violent offenders. A small percentage of the population is responsible for the majority of violent crime in this city. Prosecutors are also working with Toledo Police officers to ensure known violent offenders remain behind bars. With that said, this is a community problem that cannot be solved without community action.

Please get involved in making our city safer. If you know something, say something. If you aren’t involved in your neighborhood Block Watch, reach out. If you are able and willing to be a mentor to an at-risk youth, find one of the many fine not-for-profit organizations serving this community and volunteer.

Gun violence is a serious concern, not only in Toledo but nationally. However, with that said, overall shooting incidents and overall crime remain down in the City of Toledo this year compared to 2016 and 2015. Toledo Police officers have put themselves in harm’s way by seizing almost 1,000 firearms in 2017. The STOP program, which focuses on targeted enforcement and community outreach, has been successful in: arresting 394 individuals; making 3,582 non-adversarial community contacts; and visiting 53 schools where officers greeted students and parents with gun safety material. In addition, your Toledo Police officers have volunteered their time to teach over 1600 elementary school students what to do if they find a firearm through the officer-led not-for-profit Feet on the Street.

I want to thank you for your continued support in the fight against crime. We receive numerous crime tips daily and appreciate those who already devote much of their time to help the department in our efforts. For those who have been silent, we cannot ensure safe neighborhoods without your help – we urge you to speak up and say something. Together we will stop these senseless homicides in our community.

Chief George Kral

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