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Residents Say Police Cruisers In Neighborhood Deter Crime

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RALEIGH — Raleigh police officerswill soon be able to take their patrol cars home when the department gets another 110 vehicles. The new program has already shown some initial signs of success.

David McCollum is a Resource Officer at Millbrook High School. Even after his day is over, his vehicle remains on duty. About a month ago, Raleigh's Police Department began letting officers bring their patrol cars home as long as they live in the city.

"The car works 24 hours a day because I leave it parked out here," he says. "I think it's a worthwhile program, but we just got started in it. I think they are going to evaluate it next year and see how it goes."

McCollum's neighbors urged him to park his patrol car on the main street in his subdivision, a short walking distance from his home. Homeowners with kids, like Susan Duncan, say it has already made a difference.

"When he parks his car on the street, the traffic is much slower, much slower, and that is something we're very concerned about," she says.

Other neighbors like Jean Joyner believe the police car will prove to be a strong deterrent to crime.

"It's just a presence," she says. "If there's any strangers in the neighborhood, I think they would be hesitant or reluctant to do anything bad like break into your house."

The program will cost the city nearly $3 million. Federal statistics show most of North Carolina's large local law enforcement agencies have take home patrol cars. Nationally, more than half of the departments allow it.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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