Durham, N.C. — National Night Out events – designed to build partnerships between the community and police – are being celebrated across the country Tuesday, but in Durham police said the strategy is already working.
Samuel Jenkins is hoping to foster a relationship between the police and local community by helping to host a National Night Out event on Tuesday across the street from his east Durham barber shop.
“The police can stop crime, but if they don’t know where the crime is being committed at they don’t know how to do it,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said things have changed a lot his community since police started “Operation Bulls Eye.” Durham Police started focusing efforts in the area because 20 percent of the city’s violent gun crime was found to be located within two square miles of the area.
During the first six months of this year crime is down 18 percent compared to the same time last year.
“People are starting to look up to east Durham,” Jenkins said.
Durham Police Assistant Chief B.J. Council credits the help of the community.
“It’s just not always about that Durham has a problem with crime. It’s the fact that we deal with issues and we want as many people and as many partners as we can have,” Council said.
Jenkins said the partnership in his neighborhood has been a “team effort.”
Designed as a crime and drug prevention event, National Night Out focuses on building partnerships between the community and police, according to National Association of Town Watch.