While on the scene 7News spoke to many neighbors who voiced plenty of concerns about where they live. So, we took those questions to the Wheeling Police Department.
We are doing better this year than we did last year as far as crime, and I’m talking significant reductions in certain criminal categories.Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said the murder in Mozart and attempted murder earlier this week on 29th street happening so close together is not an accurate reflection of crime statistics so far this year in the city.
These two incidents are isolated, neither of which were preventable.Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department
Some Mozart residents told 7News they want to create a crime watch of their own, but Chief Schwertfeger said that area is part of the South Wheeling Crime Watch, which is already well established. He explained the problem is that the Crime Watch meetings are not well attended.
My recommendation, and I have talked to Mozart residents since last Friday, as a matter of fact over the weekend, and I said the same thing to them. They need to attend the South Wheeling Crime Watch meeting. It’s the same voting ward, and certainly there’s always representatives of the Wheeling Police Department there.Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department
He also encourages anyone living in the area who sees something suspicious to call 911.
Number one, we need you. You are our partners. Number two, you must call. We need phone calls. We need you to report that. If you do not report you believe that there is suspicious activity or drug dealing or whatever, we may never know that, so we rely on our citizen partners.Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department
Chief Schwertfeger went on to explain that several years ago the department began using geographic policing. So, when someone calls 911 to report a crime or suspicious activity, that’s the data that they use to determine crime trends.
Suspects in both the murder and attempted murder are custody and Chief Schwertfeger feels at the end of the year when the official numbers come out, that crime will still be down.
As long as we continue trending the way we are now it’s going to be a very good report.Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department
The South Wheeling Crime Watch meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church on Eoff Street.
Chief Schwertfeger also has a meeting scheduled to talk to Mozart residents on October 25.
Stay with 7News for further updates on these current cases.