BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – According to the Birmingham Police Department’s crime stats, the city’s murder rate is up 40% compared to last year.

Over the past few months, organizations like the Jefferson County Department of Public Health have invested funds into combating gun violence by helping victims.

Birmingham Interim Police Chief Scott Thurmond is happy to see more investment in ending gun violence.

“The Birmingham Police Department can’t solve all of these problems in the city of Birmingham. The community must be involved for all of us to be successful,” Thurmond said.

Chief Thurmond says there has been a collective effort by local and federal agencies to curb the issue.

“So that’s why we’ve increased the relationship that we have with our federal partners to fight gun violence. Because we realize that it’s not just a Birmingham problem,” Thurmond said.

Gun violence has been considered a major health crisis in the city of Birmingham by health leaders like Dr. Mark Wilson of the Jefferson County Health Department.

“It’s a major problem. It’s the number one cause of death for black males age 15 to 44 in Jefferson County,” Dr. Wilson said.

Dr. Wilson says they plan to announce a partner in their program in the coming days.