Local News

Work Cut Out For New Durham Police Chief

Posted December 19, 2002

— Officials claim overall crime in Durham has gone down, but violent crime is on the rise. Newly appointed Police Chief Steve Chalmers said bringing the numbers down will be his top priority.

In the last year, officials said violent crime in the Bull City has increased by 5 percent.

"These folks are continuing more crime and the crimes are becoming more and more violent," Chalmers said.

Chalmers said tackling the problem will be a challenge, but some new programs are already in place. Operation Looking Glass, a joint effort with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, kicked off last week.

"What we're doing with this initiative is identifying the most violent criminals -- the small percentage we feel are causing the most problems," Chalmers said.

Chalmers said he strongly believes in community policing, so residents will see more programs that require community involvement. He also said statistical analysis will play a major role in trying to reduce crime.

Chalmers said a more critical look at who is commiting the violence will go a long way in preventing crime.

"How many deal with people who know each other? How many are domestic violence? How many are crimes on streets involving strangers for criminal purposes?" Chalmers said.

Chalmers is reorganizing the department so that more officers will be on the street. He will officially take over as chief when he is sworn in Jan. 6.


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