Plan Calls For More Police, Cameras In Raleigh Parking Decks
Posted August 31, 2006 10:04 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Effective immediately, Raleigh police are reassigned to patrol parking decks, and more security cameras will be installed in downtown garages under a plan unveiled by city officials Wednesday.
The plan comes eight days after Cynthia Moreland of Wendell was abducted from a Wilmington Street garage. She has not been seen since. A man who police said tried to use her debit card at a local discount store has been charged with kidnapping in connection with her disappearance.
Raleigh Police Chief Jane Perlov presented a series of recommendations that had been approved by Mayor Charles Meeker and City Manager Russell Allen.
"Raleigh, statistically, is a really safe city, but what happened Aug. 22 is a very painful reminder that no city is crime-free," Perlov said Wednesday.
Over the past two years, there have been 80 instances of crime reported in Raleigh parking decks. Seven of them have been violent.
The security changes include the following:Increase personal safety information and classes for employers and their workers. Assign police officers from other downtown beats to patrol parking garages when most people are arriving for or leaving work. Train officers to conduct security analyses of parking garages and commercial buildings. The officers could also conduct analyses for private property owners. Install more security cameras in downtown garages.
"I don't want to say we have to have cameras on every floor of every garage immediately," Perlov said. "We are going to think this out."
The City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee will work on a budget for new cameras and look at more safety recommendations.
The city is also asking private deck owners to comply with the new recommendations as well. And although Meeker does not expect resistance, he said the city would act if it finds noncompliance.
"We could change city ordinance and require certain things as we do in night clubs, right now," he said.
As city leaders announced the parking deck changes, Moreland's employer, Progress Energy announced an increase in its share of a missing person's reward to $15,000.
The reward, also made up of money from Moreland's church and WakeMed, where Moreland's husband is employed, now sits at $30,000. Anyone with information about Moreland's disappearance should contact the Raleigh Police Department at
Investigators said Moreland had accessed the South Wilmington Street parking deck, above which Progress Energy's headquarters is located, and was believed to have been on her way to work at the time of her disappearance.
Hundreds of Moreland's coworkers and members of her church plan to assist in a search for her over the holiday weekend.
"This incident has touched and deeply affected our entire workforce," said Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes. "Many employees, some of whom knew Cynthia, some who don't know Cynthia, called and said they just want to do something to help her family, help police, help in anyway they possibly can."