LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Hill City has recently been called one of the safest cities to retire in. But community activist, B.B. Shavers, founder SHOPO Nation, said Lynchburg needs to be safe for everyone living there.
"It might be good for somebody in retirement, but as far as the younger generation People like my age or younger I can beg to differ. We still got unsolved murders in our city,” Shavers said.
“The designation of the 'Safe City' is well-earned. We do a lot of things to make the citizens of Lynchburg safe. And I think again, murder is a something that if we could forecast we would. And we would get in front of it,” Lynchburg police Lt. Tony Crews said.
Since the start of 2016 there have been 12 homicides. Two years ago there were four murders, six in 2017 and two so far this year. Car break-ins have doubled since 2016. Aggravated assaults have stayed the same, and sexual assaults have actually gone down.
"You really can't predict when those are going to happen. The only thing that you can do is put all your available resources to them,” Crews said.
As 10 News first told you Monday, the department is operating with a shortage of 30 officers and has reshuffled some from other units to place them on patrol.
"In order for our city to really be safe, for everybody, let's not just make it safe for people to retire. 'Cause I say, I don't plan on retiring for the next 40-50 years helping my community. Let's make sure the dialogue will be needed for that,” Shavers said.