Dover Hopes 2015 Homicide Problems Don't Extend into 2016 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Hopes 2015 Homicide Problems Don't Extend into 2016

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Dover had seven homicides in 2015 Dover had seven homicides in 2015

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The end of 2015 means the end of the deadliest year in at least the last quarter century for the city of Dover. There were seven homicides in Delaware's capital this year.

While the counter starts over at midnight, the underlying problems remain. It is a terrible situation for the city's leaders and a scary one for its citizens.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen has two words to describe the situation.

"Totally unacceptable," he said. "We have taken strong efforts to make sure these issues and other crimes that we've had in our city are brought under control."

Earlier this month Dover got nearly $600,000 from state lawmakers to fight the surge in violence. Over the next year and a half, the money will fund things like extra foot patrols, expanding the city's new cadet program and placing more cameras throughout town.

The violent year started with a body found on railroad tracks in January. There were three homicides in three weeks in late April into early May. Homicides followed in July, October and November.

There have been arrests in five. Two are unsolved.

That includes Thomas Deputy's October death. His mother told WBOC soon after his death how rough things have become in Dover.

"Every time we turn around, we open the paper, we see on the news, someone has been shot and killed," Denise Deputy said. "What is happening in Dover? What is going on in Dover now?"

Police have told WBOC they're hopeful 2015's deadly violence streak is a blip not a trend.

"I don't think it will be a trend we'll see in Dover here. We certainly hope that's not the case," said Cpl. Mark Hoffman, the day of Dover's seventh homicide.

"We continue to address the root causes of the issues we're having. I think it's no secret to anyone that we're in the middle of a heroin epidemic," said Mayor Christiansen.

Christiansen says dealing with the underlying problems will go a long way to stemming the city's violent tide.

In addition to Dover's seven homicides there was also a double homicide outside Dover but just a stone's throw from the city line in October.

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