Durham leaders discuss ways to reduce crime
Posted December 18, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Local law enforcement and other representatives from Durham traveled to Boston and Kansas City to learn ways they can reduce violent crime. A group of the representatives met Friday to discuss how best to implement what was learned on their travels.
Funding from the Department of Justice allowed the city to send two groups – including the mayor, city manager, police and pastors – to find out how other municipalities were successfully reducing violent crime.
A recent report showed Durham’s homicide rate is up 47 percent from this time last year. One big takeaway from the group's travels was how to properly use community policing, which is a popular strategy used to build relationships between police and local communities.
The group said it also learned Durham needs to do a better job of developing partnerships.
“We really haven’t been able to pull partnerships of community people together as we've seen demonstrated in Kansas City,” said Durham Mayor Bill Bell.
The pastors in the group emphasized the need for community involvement in making any lasting change.
Community member Phillip Jackson, who runs a construction-based job training program geared to high-risk men in Durham, attended Friday’s meeting.
“I’ve been working with young men in and out of trouble for the past 16 years,” he said. “I just wanted to be there to hear what the findings were and what the city was going to implement to try and curb the violence.”