Some people living in DeKalb County are not surprised to hear gunshots.

“On my side of DeKalb I hear shooting pretty regularly,” resident Monique Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim is very concerned about the number of murders happening in her county. There have been 11 this month, 65 so far this year.

“That’s really scary,” Ibrahim said.

“It’s heartbreaking to realize the death and destruction that is taking place in our county and throughout metro Atlanta,” Dekalb County Chief Executive Officer Michael Thurmond said.

CBS46 reporter Vince Sims took those concerns to DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. He said the majority of the homicides have three main causes: people who know each other, domestic violence, or people engaging in criminal or drug activity.

“What we are seeing here in DeKalb County is a migration of urban issues into a suburban environment,” Thurmond said. “We are now refocusing our efforts into prevention.”

So what are these prevention efforts?

“What we’ve done first and foremost is we have increased the number of police officers we have in uniform,” Thurmond said. “In 2018, we hired 104 additional police officers.”

That also included pay increases and recruitment efforts. The county has also increased after school programs and invested into the library system to keep kids off the street and out of trouble.

“We have 400 young people who are engaged in summer youth programs throughout DeKalb County,” Thurmond said.

Ibrahim is glad the county recognizes the need to act, but she is worried the efforts will take time to make a difference.

“Early intervention is obviously the best solution,” Ibrihim said. “Of course we still have a problem now, but early intervention will hopefully curb some stuff later down the road.”

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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