Violent crimes on the rise


(WEHT)– Under the pandemic’s pressure the work of the police must continue. During the stay at home orders officers across the nation initially saw a decrease in crime. Now most cities are seeing an uptick in violent crimes. The Evansville Police Department is looking for future officers to train and have patrolling the Tri-State come 2021.

“We put our faith in our training and other officers who are a part of that and train the new guys. We just feel this is a good community and a good place to be,” said Evansville Police Department Sergeant Nick Winsett.

The department is seeing more people retire than it has applicants for jobs. You can apply here.

Its recruitment process is taking place during a polarizing time paired with increased violence across the country.

“We’ve seen a lot, not here in Evansville, but a lot of ambush style shootings on policemen that sort of thing. I think most people are leary about becoming police officers right now,” said Sgt. Winsett.

A recent study shows most major cities saw a decrease in crime during the pandemic, but after the stay at home orders lifted, there was a startling increase of violent crimes. Evansville police say they responded to several shots fired calls over the weekend.

“I think it was like 4 different shots fired runs. Since Sunday, we’ve had a few more of those,” said Winsett.

An uptick in more violent crimes is a trend both Evansville and Madisonville Police Departments have noticed.

“To have this many gun instances happen within this short of time is always concerning to us,” said Madisonville Police Major Andy Rush. The city is on high alert after a spurt of shootings. The most recent shooting was just a couple weeks ago.

“We had a large block party between 100 and 200 people. That incident resulted in five different people being shot. Two of which were flown to an Evansville hospital,” explained Major Rush. “Just before that we had a drive by shooting of a residents and we also had a shooting that was from one vehicle to another.”

No arrests have been made for Madisonville’s block party shooting, but there is a $1,000 reward for identifying the people behind that shooting. Both Madisonville and Evansville police department leaders say they are increasing their police patrolling the areas that have been a hot spot for recent gun violence.

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(This story was originally published on September 17, 2020)

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