OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - It’s a staggering new trend in the Owensboro and Daviess County area and community members are feeling it too.
“It kind of breaks our heart to see the brokenness in our community and this violence," Zach Lake the marketing and recruitment coordinator for Mentor Kids said.
But it's all too real for the law enforcement working these cases.
“I think society as a whole has become desensitized to violence," Major Barry Smith with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Daviess County Sheriff’s Office has seen one murder case with two victims so far this year as compared to two cases with two victims all of last year. And the Owensboro Police Department has seen an increase of two murder victims already this year.
“Any loss of life is not tolerable," Smith said. "We do live in a community of 100,000, so this is just the nature of what we have to deal with.”
Both agencies say drugs are most likely a major factor in the increase in violent crimes. That's why OPD is reinstating their FLEX team, a group of officers focused on high crime areas.
“We put our resources where we can to try to make the streets as safe as possible," Andrew Boggess with the Owensboro Police Department said.
And one local non-profit is working to reverse the trend. Mentor Kids is a mentoring program for children. They say seeing the increase in violence shows how badly their services are needed.
“It shows us why we do what we do," Lake said. "We want to prevent stuff like this from happening to our community.”
And police say the disregard for human life in many of these cases are horrifying.
“Somebody that doesn’t recognize that and is so quick to jump to taking someone’s life is just very dangerous," Boggess said. "And obviously we want to do everything we can to make our streets safe. We’re going to do everything we can to get these guns off the street. and ultimately make this city as safe as we can for all the residents.”