City leaders hope there can be continued investment in violence prevention groups, employment opportunities and community centers.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — New data from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police shows violent crime is up about five percent from this time last year.

But violent crime is down from this time in 2019, the last year before the pandemic.

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The Allegheny County Medical Examiner reports 76 homicides this year. One is from outside the county, while three have been reported in the first week of August.

“Can’t look forward to anything with your kids when so much violence is going on,” Ed Matthews said.

Matthews moved to Homewood about a month ago from Homestead. He wants violent crime to stop.

“You don’t know where the violence is going to come from, why. They can’t just go down the street or to the corner store without us being worried as parents,” Matthews said.

Based on KDKA’s research, the current pace of homicides would be about 120 this year. That would be up from 107 last year and 95 in 2019.

Allegheny County police said they’re investigating 35 homicides outside the city this year. State police are investigating two.

Pittsburgh City Council President Theresa Kail-Smith said if people are getting paychecks, that should take away some violence.

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“That hopefully leads to a better avenue and a safer community,” Kail-Smith said.

According to Pittsburgh police data, the violent crimes are up from last year but down from the years 2016-2019.

“I think it’s a combination of things. I don’t think it’s one thing. It’s wanting to know and needing to know what’s most important in those neighborhoods,” Kail-Smith said.

She said neighboring municipalities need to continue working together to prevent violence in local neighborhoods.

“For the most part, it’s pretty beneficial. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do better,” she told KDKA.

Matthews suggests parents take more of a role in their child’s life.

“If the parent knows the parent of the kid their kid is playing with, it’s a better system,” he said.

Pittsburgh police reported a six percent drop in property crimes compared to last year.

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With city money and some American Rescue Plan funds, Kail-Smith hopes there can be continued investment in violence prevention groups, employment opportunities and community centers.