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Local crime rates are up, but what does it mean?

Sometimes the "rates" can be a little misleading.
For example, let's talk murders.
There were just 2 murders in Pensacola in 2011... a very quiet year.
Last year, there were seven.
Do the math, and that means a 71 percent increase in the murder rate.
Sounds a lot worse than "5".
But I did speak with family members of victims today who say, there are still too many violent crimes in the area.

For Lavon Brown and Linda Montgomery, crime has hit close to home.
Both have lost a son to murder.
In 2010, Montgomery's son, Joe Harris was shot and killed while driving down Texar Drive.
The gunman was in another car, and has never been found.

Linda Montgomery, victim's mother
I don't know what really happened, it happened like 2 or 3 o clock in the morning

Lavon Brown's son, Lavar, was shot and killed while in his car on Tiki Lane.
Police have made an arrest, and a trial is pending.

Lavon Brown, the victim's mother said, "I know i cant bring my son back but I'm here to try and help other parents so they don't go that same pain that I endure."

That's why Lavon Brown started P.A.I.N - Parents Against Injustice and Negligence.
She tries to reduce violence by speaking to groups, sharing her story,  and hoping it steers others from crime.
These parents don't believe the county is getting more dangerous...
But they say there's plenty of work to be done to correct the dangers that do exist.

Ms. Brown said, "I really think it's the mindset of the young people how they think needs to change, that's why we out and speaking to the people, giving them a positive way of thinking."

Linda Montgomery, another victim's mother said, "All we can do is just pray and try and go out into the community, hoping we don't have parent after parent that have to go through this, we're trying to stop they cycle by trying to come together as one."