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Durham Police Officers Take Door-to-Door Approach In Crime Prevention

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DURHAM — Many people do not see the police until after a crime has been committed, but theDurham Police Departmentwants its officers to get to know the people they protect.

Police officers are taking a new approach to walking the beat in southeast and central Durham. They are going door-to-door, introducing themselves, giving out their pager numbers, and reminding residents that help is just a phone call away.

"We're just introducing ourselves to them, and putting a face on police work," says Capt. B.J. Council of the Durham Police Department. "It lets them know they have a relationship where they can pick up the phone and feel they have a relationship with someone personal."

Officers kicked off the door-to-door campaign on Curtis Street, because a man was shot there on Friday.

George Covington was shocked by Friday's shooting.

"The shooting victim came in my house and asked for help," Covington says.

Residents say it has always been a safe, quiet neighborhood, but Covington and his neighbors say it is good to have a name and face to go with the badge.

"It's very reassuring," Covington says. "I hate that's the reason they had to come out, but it makes us feel a little more comfortable in our neighborhood, knowing we have protection."

Officers have scheduled visits in 12 neighborhoods over the next six months.

Anyone who would like the Durham police department to include their neighborhood in its "Door-to-Door" campaign can call919-560-4415.