Police crackdown cuts crime in northeast Durham
Posted October 10, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Northeast Durham is an area known for shootings, prostitution and drugs, but police said Thursday that an effort focused on 2 square miles of the city has cut crime in the area by almost half.
The Durham Police Department has used Operation Bull's Eye for six years in the area around Franklin Street and Alston Avenue, which at one time accounted for 20 percent of the violent crimes in the city.
"There was a significant disproportion of violent gun crimes occurring in a particular area of east Durham," said Jason Schiess, the police department's analytical services manager. "They decided to go ahead and dedicate additional units and partner with various agencies within the city."
Extra street patrols, drug raids and partnerships with the East Durham Children's Initiative and other community agencies have reduced crime in the area by 46 percent since Operation Bull's Eye began in 2007.
The East Durham Children's Initiative works to strengthen families and set up shop in the community with the hope of helping police, executive director David Reese said.
"You have to remember where this community came from. It's distressed," Reese said. "Clearly, more work needs to be done. We have to continue to work. This is hard. If it was easy, we would have done it already."
Police said they have been monitoring the communities around the Operation Bull's Eye area to ensure that crime isn't just shifting to new neighborhoods. So far, they said, crime in those buffer areas hasn't increased and has decreased in some areas.