Chapel Hill, Carrboro Team Up to Fight Crime
Posted June 8, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
CHAPEL HILL — Chapel Hill and Carrboro police are joining forces to try to sweep away violence and drugs in a crime-ridden area between the two towns. So far, it seems to be working, and people who live nearby are urging officers to keep up their joint patrol.
The two forces have made about 300 arrests since February, but the team has broken up to some degree. Carrboro is still fully manning the task force. Chapel Hill began backing off about a month ago. That has left Neighbors are concerned about the future.
The Broad Street neighborhood sits right along the Chapel Hill - Carrboro border. It was an area no one was very proud of.
A police video, taken before the joint task force took action, shows what a typical night was like.
Now the streets are safer. Drugs and crime are down, and residents are more at ease. Police say it took a certain type of officer to help take back the streets.
"Officers who were very aggressive who don't mind getting out and getting a little bit dirty now and then," Carrboro Police Officer Pete Lannon told WRAL-TV5'sMark Roberts. "... confronting people having to run them down, chase them, wrestle with them, just take them into custody."
With 300 arrests since February, some call it a success, but some still don't.
"I think it really didn't make a difference," says Broad Street resident Corey Ruffin. "They're going to continue to come either way. Like the police are like kick them out. They're still going come anyway. You can't stop somebody from coming in their own neighborhood where they live. They're going to come anyway."
"Carrboro is doing an excellent job," says resident James Burnett.
Burnette says police drove out drug dealers from the house across the street.
While Carrboro keeps up to seven officers on the border patrol, Chapel Hill has reduced its presence. Putting most task force officers back on normal patrols.
"I would love to see this drug problem wiped out completely," says Burnette. "If there's any way to get it wiped out completely that's what we would love to see."
Some residents say they've contacted Chapel Hill police, telling them they're not happy with the reduced role in the task force, but=t's not fair to say that they've abandoned it completely. There are still some Chapel Hill police cars in the border neighborhood today.