Local News

Durham officials visit Boston for ideas on curbing crime

Posted November 17, 2015 5:04 p.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2015 10:33 p.m. EST

— A group of Durham officials traveled to Boston this week in hope of finding information on how to curb crime in the Bull City.

Six of the men and women from the city, including District Attorney Roger Echols and representatives from the Durham police department, are on the trip.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve,” said Durham Mayor Bill Bell.

According to new statistics, the homicide rate in Durham is up 47 percent from last year.

“We had a high trade of violent crime; we had homicides,” Bell said. “Looking at the demographics of our city, they felt Boston would be an appropriate city for us to take a first look at.”

The visit will focus of on community policing and engaging the faith-based community.

Pastor Mark-Anthony Middleton was also invited to join the group.

“I’m just not interested in police action in the back end,” Middleton said. “We’ve got to do something on the front end of this community.”

Bell said the trip is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t expect it to end the city’s troubles.

“We don’t’ expect to have a final solution in dealing with what’s happening with violent crime,” he said. “We’re looking at as much help as we can get from wherever.”

The Department of Justice is funding the trip, officials said. They also have recommended that the city send representatives to Kansas City.

The group visiting Boston will return to Durham on Thursday.