LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The number of homicides in the city Los Angeles jumped drastically last month, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday 39 people were killed in the city in August.

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According to Beck, of the 17 murders in South Los Angeles last month, 14 of them were gang-related.

“It was a horrible month,” said Beck. “Whether this is going to be a one-month issue or whether it’s going to be something that we see for the rest of the year is something we’re going to watch over closely and we’ll try to mitigate through the application of resource, through the application of public will.”

“The last time we had this many homicides in August was 2007,” Beck said. “We’ll continue to look at the violent crime picture. We are making some adjustments.”

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The grim data reversed a decline in murders in recent years.

The murder rate this year increased more than 9 percent. According to the LAPD, 189 people were killed between January and the end of August, compared to 173 in the same period last year.

“The social skills break down to such a level; violence is the only answer for things that most people deal with on a daily basis,” the chief said. “This is something that has to be addressed at all levels, not just a police matter.”

Overall, crime is up more than 20 percent.

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