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Courts / Law

Tampa Responds to Gun Violence Spike

Yoselis Ramos

Responding to a surge in gun deaths, Tampa police say they will increase patrols through East and West Tampa, where a higher concentration of the gun violence is happening.

"It's just this particular spike in violent crime is obviously very concerning so we're doing even more than what we traditionally do," Andrea Davis with the Tampa Police Department said. "We want to have that very visible police presence to deter some of this violent crime."

A federal grant received last year will cover overtime pay, she said.

So far this year,  Tampa has recorded 21 murders, compared with 13 murders this time last year.

Davis said people should speak up if they have any information, even if they think it's just a rumor. Calling the Crime Stoppers line is anonymous.

"There's really no excuse for people in the community not to get involved in what's going on in their neighborhood, and standing up to the bullies committing these crimes."

Mayor Bob Buckhorn has extended the hours at local recreation centers and gave more scholarships to cover summer camp costs. The idea is to give young ones a place to be throughout the summer rather than on the streets.

Tampa Police also held a gun buy-back program recently that collected 521 firearms.

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