Long Beach police say they’re trying to combat an increase in shootings and murders so far this year.

Officers responded to 114 reports of gunfire between Jan. 1 and April 30, an average of almost one per day, according to new data police released Friday.

That’s up from 105 during that same period last year.

Gun violence had been declining in Long Beach before this year. Shootings spiked dramatically at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, but the numbers appeared to be headed back toward pre-pandemic norms until now.

Murders are also up so far in 2024, increasing to 11 compared to just six during the first four months of 2023.

High-profile homicides — like a father killed by stray gunfire in his front yard and a 17-year-old girl gunned down while walking home — have also grabbed headlines across the region.


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In response, police say they’re deploying a new team to focus on “high-risk individuals and high-risk areas where gun violence is most prevalent.”

Police said they’re also trying to deter crime and bolster their investigators’ ability to solve cases by looking to buy mobile security camera trailers that can be placed around the city.

The police department, which has been plagued by vacancies, is also trying to make sure officers aren’t worn out from being required to work 10-hour mandatory overtime shifts twice a month.

In a memo on Friday, Police Chief Wally Hebeish said he’s going to cut that down to one shift a month.

The department will also take more crime reports over the phone and send officers to fewer traffic collisions where nobody is hurt, he wrote. The LBPD is working to hire more civilian employees to handle calls about non-emergency police reports.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.