Durham, N.C. — Durham Mayor Bill Bell praised his community Monday night for a decrease in overall crime rate in 2012, but said Durham residents must "unite and get serious" about holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable.
In his 11th annual "State of the City" address, Bell said that Durham's overall crime rate declined about 7.5 percent in 2012, and its homicides were down 19 percent, from 26 in 2011 to 21 last year.
"The overall trend of reducing crime is moving in the right direction, but I think as a community we can do better," he said in his speech. "I'm sure that we will."
Bell also spent time addressing the city's budget challenges, saying the area needed to grow its tax base by attracting companies in high-growth industries that renovate or build new space and work with existing private sector business owners to improve their buildings.
Visit the City of Durham's website to read the full text of Bell's speech.