New Durham Chief Takes Crime Fighting to the Streets
Posted April 26, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — It seems no matter what police do, violent crime keeps getting worse in Durham. While new police Chief Teresa Chambers has put a lot of new approaches on paper, one of her ideas hit the streets Monday.
Captain B.J. Council is now at the top of the food chain. More authority, and more accountability is what the Durham police department's reorganization is all about.
Council says the new system will help streamline police operations.
Council will be busy. Fayetteville Street is one of the busiest in town for police calls of all types. The neighborhood also contains one of the most notorius drug dealing spots in Durham.
The police chief divided the city into four districts. Instead of watch commanders supervising the whole city, each district is controlled by a captain with complete authority. The plan goes into effect while Durham continues to suffer a severe officer shortage.
Chief Chambers says the shsortage actually helped her come up with this concept.
Back in the neighborhoods, people hope the new plan brings change.
Business owner Denise Hester says she thinks the new plan only addresses part of the problem.
Captains will also have to issue reports every two weeks explaining whether they've made progress in their districts.