Local News

Raleigh Police Chief Proposes Walking to a Different Beat

Posted November 16, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Tuesday,Raleigh Police Chief Mitch Brownpresented a new police beat plan to the City Council that could cut response time by 20 percent.

The plan adds seven new beats, calls for hiring 35 new officers and would cost taxpayers another $2 million a year when it is fully staffed in 2001.

"It would allow officers to be more responsive to their particular beats, calls for service and priority one calls," Brown said. "

The new system will have a more even distribution of police work adding patrols to some of Raleigh's faster growing areas.

Some downtown business owners wonder what is in the plan for them, since it does not call for any additional officers there.

Trent Mercer says that nobody has ever robbed his downtown jewelry store, but he believes that more patrols could solve some other problems he has.

"You see people urinating out in public," Mercer said. "You see drunks and people drinking out in public. There are a lot of beggars begging people for money."

Chief Brown says that since the early 1980's the city has added a number of special units to help clean up downtown.

"We've responded to those request for more downtown," Brown said. "I have a deployment station on South Wilmington Street. I have more bikes downtown. I have horses downtown. I responded to those request."

Chief Brown insist that he meets with the business leaders downtown on a regular basis to assess their needs.

The beat plan has conceptual approval from the City Council. They are still waiting on the budgetary approval, which could come as early as next month.