05/01/2012 04:30 pm ET

Detroit Crime Rate Up: Serious Crimes Increase In 2012 Police Say, Homicides Down Slightly

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. revealed Monday that major crimes in the city have increased in the first quarter of 2012.

At a community meeting at Triumph Missionary Baptist Church in Southwest Detroit, the Detroit Police Department head said serious crimes from Dec. 27 to April 22, including assaults, burglaries, rapes and larcenies, are up approximately 2 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Through April, there were 98 homicides in the city, slightly fewer than the 102 in the same period last year. Most have been shootings, and according to the Detroit Free Press, the DPD pointed to the number of guns on the street as a main factor in the homicide rate.

Godbee said the department has had to make do with 300 fewer officers since he took over in 2010, the Detroit News reports. A decline in resources has forced the department to concentrate on the most violent crimes and areas of the city.

DPD has made efforts to increase the number of officers on the streets with its virtual precinct program, but it will soon have to make further cutbacks. Mayor Dave Bing's proposed city budget for the next fiscal year cuts police funding by 18 percent.