Dauphin County ending 2021 with at least 21 homicides, district attorney reflects

abc27 News
abc27 News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg has had three homicides in just the last week.

That violent end to the year is raising concern as we head into the new year.

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“I don’t put a lot into the fact that there’s been a clump of homicides can happen at a time. Sometimes you go a long streak without any and sometimes they’re all clumped together,” Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said.

Chardo says any violence is too much violence and his office and the police are doing the best they can to deal with it. Dauphin County has had 21 homicides in 2021.

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Law enforcement has cracked down on illegal gun purchases, getting dozens of weapons off the street, yet the violence persists.

“I don’t want to blame it on COVID but certainly COVID has had an impact where, you know, there’s been an increase in violence throughout the country. And I think that when you have people that are sort of bottled up, that that can have an impact,” Chardo said.

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Chardo says some violent crimes are tied to domestic problems and of the county’s 21 homicides, four were murder suicides. But Chardo says most can be attributed to drug disputes.

“Our drug task force works very, very well with other agencies,” Chardo said. “It’s a very, very cooperative approach and I think we’ve seen a great deal of success. It’s just it’s hard to measure.”

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Chardo says they’re in discussions about what can be done in the new year to have even more success.

“Working with our chiefs of police, we’re trying to do everything we can with regard to gun violence because most of these involve gun violence and anything we can to crack down on illegal gun use on the streets, we’re going to do it,” Chardo said.

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Chardo also points to the county’s focus on mental health issues as a way to curb violence

As of December 30, there were 21 homicides in 2021, compared to 24 in 2020.

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