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Oakland County sees slight uptick in murders from 2021 to 2022

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 23:11:43-05

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — In 2022 Oakland County saw a slight uptick in homicides: 37 slayings total, which is up from 35 last year.

These crimes occurred in communities across the county, including Pontiac, Hazel Park, Troy, Oxford, Oak Park, and Rochester Hills.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard says that in areas of the county they patrol, crime is actually trending down.

Of those 37 homicides in 2022, 14 of those happened here in Pontiac.

In 2011 the Oakland County Sheriff’s office took over the city’s police department, turning it into a substation. The Sheriff says since the take over crime has generally been declining.

Martha Goans' daughter was killed in Pontiac on December 4th and left on a sidewalk. She is still waiting for justice.

Ikiyonna Roselle was just 22 years old when she was gunned down. So far, no arrests have been made.

"I've been here all my life, but not one time did I ever think that my kid would be killed," said Goans.

"In 2019 we had 19 homicides and in 2021 it was 15," said Oakland County Sheriff, Mike Bouchard. "So our trends have been down generally, but our goal is to get it zero."

Bouchard says since his department took over in Pontiac, they've cut down 911 response times from around 80 minutes to 6 minutes.

He says violent crime rates in the city have also dropped around 25%.

"When we assumed police operations in Pontiac, they were in the top 10 of most violent cities in America," said Bouchard. "And now they are nowhere near that."

City Council President Michael McGuinness says to build Pontiac a better future, we must first understand its past.

"During the Great Recession and the General Motors' bankruptcy, we lost tens of thousands of jobs and that means tens of thousands of families were destabilized and had a lot of economic uncertainty," said McGuinness. "That played a big part."

Bouchard says even one homicide is too many, but he is proud of their case closure rate in Pontiac. According to him, it's between 80 and 90 percent.

Goans is disappointed her daughter's killer is still out there, so much so that she plans to move out of the city.

"I am lost, that person left me empty inside," said Goans. "There is nothing anyone can say to help me."

If you know anything about Roselle's murder you can call tips into CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-SPEAK UP. There’s currently a $2,000 reward.