WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Winston-Salem Police Department released crime statistics from 2013 that show the number of murders was up, but the number of violent crimes was down over all.
"We're not pleased with where we are now. In particular, our homicides, where we have seen an increase from 2012-2013," said Police Chief Barry Rountree.
Winston-Salem police investigated 15 murders in 2013, compared to eight in 2012. Rountree says several people were killed over domestic disputes and drugs last year.
“Future plans are to add additional personnel to our special investigations division. That's the division that primarily investigates drug offenses,” said Rountree.
Statistics show the department is doing a lot of things right as well. Winston-Salem detectives are solving a lot of murders. Plus, the number of rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults has dropped significantly over the past five years.
Department officials say that's because more officers are patrolling the streets and they're working closely with the community.
"All of these results are significant because during 2013, fewer of our citizens were victims of their homes being broken into, their vehicles being stolen, and fewer were victims of aggravated assaults," said Rountree.
City officials plan to hold a forum Feb. 1 to talk about the rise in murders and discuss possible solutions.