Chapel Hill Businesses Form Partnership To Make Franklin Street Safer
Posted October 22, 2005 11:24 a.m. EDT
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A recent surge in crime in downtown Chapel Hill has led local businesses to form a task force to help make downtown safer.
The Chapel Hill Police Department said reports of major crimes were down 25 percent in the downtown area, but a recent spike in criminal activity around
trumps that statistic.
"We've had some incidents and most recently a shooting last weekend that has just raised the concerns even higher," Chapel Hill Police Chief Gregg Jarvies said.
Guy Murphy, manager of Top Of The Hill restaurant, said he worries about patrons getting to and from the restaurant during the early morning hours. The restaurant does not have a parking lot.
"We want them to be safe," Murphy said. "We want them to not have a stressful time getting home. We want it to be a good experience coming to Franklin Street."
Top Of The Hill belongs to the new task force, Partnership for a Safer Downtown, which was formed by the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
The group believes eliminating patches along Franklin Street that are not well lighted and increasing police visibility will help reduce crime in the area.
"Part of it is visibility, and part of it is resources," Jarvies said.
He added that he plans to increase foot patrol on Franklin Street by about 15 hours, and he said people need to think safety first.
The task force also plans to meet at some point in the coming weeks to develop other strategies to make downtown safer.