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Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Chief of Police Kristen Ziman address an increase in gang-related violence in the city. (City of Aurora video still)

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Aurora Chief Of Police Kristen Ziman on Wednesday announced measures to combat an increase in gang-related homicides that started in 2020. Mayor Irvin is concerned that the violence will spill over into 2021. Mayor Irvin read the names of several young men who were shot and killed last year.

Chief Ziman says several major events in 2020 contributed to the increase in shootings. She says shootings were up forty percent last year.

Ziman says the city had eight gang-related murders in 2020. Mayor Irvin is asking Chief Ziman for more community policing and is looking into technology that can help police respond to shootings faster.

Irvin says that people should use the same energy that exists when police are caught in misconduct to fighting violence between young men of color within the community.

The mayor and police chief said that in every shooting, someone knows what happened and they are encouraging people to come forward with information. Chief Ziman says that information can be given anonymously and praised those who have helped Aurora Police with investigations. The department has seized over 100 illegal firearms since last year.

While the press conference focused on gang-related shootings, Irvin also addressed the recent carjacking that left woman seriously injured and a few other crimes, which he called isolated incidents, and said that they are being taken seriously and are being thoroughly investigated.