FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — In one week, Fayetteville will be 33 percent bigger. Through annexation, the city will add 26 square miles and almost 43,000 residents from Cumberland County.
The city already hired dozens of new workers and spent millions in equipment and supplies.
City leaders and residents believe one of the benefits of annexation is having more police officers in the area.
The city is about to annex about 40 neighborhoods from Cumberland County. Right now, the county has 15 officers patrolling those areas. The city plans to assign almost 60.
"County enforcement has to cover a larger surface area of square miles per deputy," said Fayetteville Mayor Marshall Pitts Jr. "When you talk about municipalities, what cities can do, it's much more condensed. You have much more officers working that smaller area of land."
"We truly need that," Cumberland County resident Branetta Brooks said. "With the crime rate being high, we need the policemen, definitely."
Many police officers have spent the month learning their new beats.
Councilman D.J. Haire represents the Bonnie Doone neighborhood, which was annexed in the 90s. He said annexation brought more officers, less crime and safer streets for children.