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Durham Officials Turn To Community For Suggestions On Preventing Violent Crime

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DURHAM — Homicide crime scenes inDurhamhave people thinking and talking. City officials are using a series of town meetings to hear from residents who do not just read about crime, they live with it.

With 20 homicides in the Bull City so far this year, city officials want to talk to citizens about the increased crime rate. Dewarren Langley, 15, wanted his viewpoint heard at Saturday's town meeting.

"There's a lot of stereotypes about teenagers. All of us are not out here selling drugs or hanging out on the corner," Langley says. "I'm trying to go to school, have a job and get somewhere with my life."

The town meetings give residents a chance to throw out suggestions about curbing the crime rate. Durham resident Gale Thompson supports a curfew.

"That would help me lead my child and take some of the peer pressure off my kid by saying he has to be in by 11 p.m. or midnight or whatever the city sets it," Thompson says.

The suggestions will be compiled in a full report by Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson. He understands that for words to become an action plan, it will take more than just lip service.

"I hope private organizations will see things on the list that they can say, 'Here's something we can do' and private citizens will say, 'Here's a way I can take a piece of this,'" Tennyson says.

More town meetings are scheduled for July 25. One meeting will be at the Herald Sun community room. Another will be held at Campus Hills Park. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.

Within the first two weeks of August, Durham mayor Nick Tennyson will announce the findings from the town meetings.

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Ken Smith, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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