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Feds Could Help Crack Down on Durham Crime

Posted January 23, 2008

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— The federal government could soon bring in assistance in an effort to crack down on crime in the Bull City.

"We are aggressively addressing the violent crime issue in Durham," Earl Woodham, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Wednesday.

The ATF is considering bringing what is called a Violent Crime Impact Team to Durham. The program would bring together prosecutors as well as federal and local law enforcement officers who would target the city's high-crime areas.

Woodham said Durham is not alone when it comes to violent crime problems. However, it's one of the largest cities in North Carolina that doesn't already have a large ATF presence.

The Department of Justice would have to approve the program for Durham, and that could take as long as a year. Greensboro is the only other North Carolina city with a Violent Crime Impact Team.

Durham County District Attorney David Saacks said being able to prosecute some criminals under federal law means stiffer sentences in some cases.

That, he said, could pay off when it comes to reducing crime.

"There's a certain population that's repeat offenders and some that are violent repeat offenders," Saacks said. "Anything to help combat that population, I think, would be more than welcome."

The ATF has about a dozen field offices across the state, including one in Raleigh. A long-term goal is to put one in Durham, as well. But that could take five to 10 years.

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  • redant Jan 24, 2008

    Well itis, Durham tried to get some help from the highway patrol but they said they a little short on personnel.

  • humbleblaklady Jan 24, 2008

    What I found "strange" several years ago (and still do), is that I remember when "Greensboro" got this "so-called" special assistance from Federal Law Enforcement personnel. At the time, Durham was REALLY off the hook with crime and gangs. Yet, for whatever reason (maybe Bill "We Have No Crime" Bell did not request it)--but the Feds went to Greensboro and ignored both Raleigh and Durham--and I guess Charlotte. Ironically, since they have been there, gangs and youth related crimes have "increased" significantly in Greensboro. So, I'm not so sure Durham can "AFFORD" to bring in this Fed help. Initially, I never could understand how or why they picked Greensboro (especially over Durham).

  • NCbred77 Jan 24, 2008

    Send another unit to Rocky Mount while you are at it.

  • WHEEL Jan 24, 2008

    Maybee if Durham didn't have so many of its own officers on "vacation" , "paid administrative leave" over alledged wrongdoing they would have enough manpower to solve their own problems.

  • mramorak Jan 24, 2008

    Good point tab!

  • ifcdirector Jan 23, 2008

    Why would the federal government want to help Jose Lopez control crime when he has already stated publicly that he "doesn't care about someone's immigration status.".... Hey Jose. Enforce all of the laws or find a different job someplace else where breaking the law is all based on your point of view.

  • Common Sense Man Jan 23, 2008

    "i find it strange that now "the powers that be" here in durham are moving towards getting this assistance shortly after a Duke student is killed."

    I don't find it strange at all. You think they JUST started putting this on the table in the last week? Come on.........

  • tab580642 Jan 23, 2008

    i find it strange that now "the powers that be" here in durham are moving towards getting this assistance shortly after a Duke student is killed. makes one think that as long as it's regular old black folk being killed it's not a big deal huh???
    The one thing that I do want a lot of the idiots from raleigh (only the idiots) who post daily negative things about durham to keep in mind is that even the person from the ATF said that "the same things happen in Raleigh."

    resources is the key and it seems that now maybe durham will have a good resource to help reduce violent crime.

  • tab580642 Jan 23, 2008

    this is something that is long over-due and something that I've said is needed to get the violent crime rate down in durham. I live here & I haven't had any problems, but I am aware of the problem areas and many of the issues that cause much of durham's crimes. federal intervention is a good thing, but as an african american I fear the over-reach that may accompany their prescence. i don't want to be stopped everday all in the name of "preventing crime." the fact is that they should target specific areas of the city and focus on the punk-"A" gangs. people need to understand that much of the violent crime here is "amongst thieves" or criminal on criminal.

    Durham isn't a bad place to live, it's just that we don't have the same resources as our neighbors & our leaders are slow at requesting help. Hopefully the federal assistance will help.....I think it will!

  • blondton13 Jan 23, 2008

    Bring it on! I, for one, would welcome them with open arms to get this crime under control.
    However, it's too late for me. I'm moving to Hillsborough where it's quieter and safer.