Residents say crime is top priority at DeKalb County town hall meeting

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DeKalb County residents got to the root of what they believe is contributing to the recent spike in murders. The number of killings this year is almost double the count this time last year, according to the DeKalb County Police Department.

FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell spoke with families Thursday before a town hall meeting which covered a wide range of issues.

With close to 70 homicides in the county so far this year, residents told Mitchell it's time to deal with factors that contribute to killings, including some troubled youth, law enforcement action and loitering around businesses.

DeKalb County District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson spoke with FOX 5 News about possible solutions before his town hall event Thursday. First, he insisted people must talk to each other and resolve conflicts without resorting to gun violence.

"They say 'enough is enough,' and I agree with them," Johnson said. 

In previous report, DeKalb County Police investigators said they hold community roll calls and have beefed up their presence in crime hotspots like Wesley Chapel and Candler Roads along Interstate 20.

However, the crimes result from a multitude of factors, including poverty, drug use and lack of education, according to Commissioner Johnson. But he believes when community members come together that is one step to improvement.

During the meeting, residents discussed issues such as park improvements, SPLOST funding and plans for a townhome community.