Orange County murder rates up

- Murder rates have taken a spike in Orange County.  Now, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is calling on the public’s help, as they work to deal with a considerable increase in murders so far this year.

It has been a year of deadly shootings, stabbings, and even a murder with an ax in 2016 in Orange County.   Sheriff’s Spokesman Jeff Williamson said, so far, this year there have been four more murders, compared to the same time period last year.  

“Which is a 29 percent increase,which I guess anyone statistically or sociologically or who deals with math or regressions, would say that is a significant increase," he said. 

That 29 percent increase does not include two murders this past weekend in Orange County.   Williamson said the serious crime statistics are on the radar screen of commanders and deputies patrolling our streets.

“Those numbers are sent to all of the captains who funnel that down to lieutenants,   who funnel them down to the sergeants.”

Williamson says the sheriff is not forming a task force to respond to the jump in murders.  He points out the agency cannot pinpoint specific  murder trends right now. 

“Sometimes there is trending versus domestic, trending on robberies, trending on drugs.  Right now there is no trending on it. They’re very episodic.”

The Sheriff’s Office says it’s a challenge for detectives to solve the murders without help from witnesses.
Williamson adds, “We need cooperation.  We need people to come forward and tell us what they know. That is often an issue in some of our troubled homicides where there is a lot of back and forth with some of the people in the area.  They don’t want to give any information.”

Williamson adds it is up to our school and church leaders and our families to help with the murder investigations and to raise our children to be strong citizens.

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