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More Money, Manpower to Help Raleigh Police 'Beat' Crime

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RALEIGH — Raleigh Police have reorganized their beats. Now they need more police officers to hit the streets.

It will take more money and people, but it appears theRaleigh Police Departmentwill get it.

Police say the way beats are structured makes a big difference in the safety of your neighborhood.

Raleigh police designed a new beat system in January. Now the city is considering giving them the manpower to make it work.

"If the officer has time within his tour of duty to do some community work, then he has the wherewithal to do that," says Maj. John Knox of the Raleigh Police Department. "It's all aimed at the citizens and making everybody's life here in Raleigh better, frankly, except for the criminal."

The city plans to hire 35 new officers over two years. The idea is to give officers a smaller area to patrol, allowing them to connect with the community.

"That's actually how I was raised because my parents were from the city and that's actually how they had it," says Jason Garland, a Raleigh resident. "They were in tune with the police in their area. The way society's going today, I think that would be good. It really depends on the price we'll have to pay."

Durham just finished a restructuring of police beats. Officers saycrime is downand morale is up.

"It was a few months of transition trying to get used to what we'd be doing and finding out our responsibilities," says Capt. Robin James of the Durham Police Department. "We've been given the resources, the support from the command staff and we're accountable to what goes on in our district."

The new plan does come with a cost. City budget analysts say 35 new officers will cost Raleigh $1.3 million in salary alone.

The city manager says, in the budget that must be approved by June 30, they will fund 15 officers. Funding for 20 more officers is expected in the next budget cycle.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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