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Richmond homicide rate nearly double from this time last year

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RICHMOND, Va. -- On Tuesday evening, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and his officers visited the Southwood neighborhood in South Richmond.

They spent time knocking on doors and talking to residents about what concerns they have when it comes to crime.

Police said that they have dealt with robberies in the area, but some residents said the spike in homicides has been a concern for them.

"It scares people," said one neighbor.

So far this year, Richmond has had 30 homicides.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

That is nearly double the amount at this time last year, where the city was at 17 homicides.

"One of the things that we are seeing is domestic violence and drug sales," said Chief Durham. "Folks are getting shot, even for weed."

Chief Durham has also recently expressed concern with a shortage of officers.

Police said the department ideally would have 750 officers.

However, Chief Durham said he is down 52 officers.

Durham said he isn't going to use that as an excuse, but he still has concerns.

"I would say it's an opportunity for those criminals out there," he explained. "When you don't see the police you're going to think that you can go out there and commit these violent crimes."

Police reminded residents if you see something, say something by calling Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

You can also submit tips to GUN250 about persons in possession of illegally-held guns by texting Crime Stoppers at 274637, then using keyword “GUN250” followed by your tip. Rewards up to $250. All the Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.