Local News

Durham Police Launch 'Operation Bulls Eye'

Posted July 19, 2007 6:30 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2007 10:47 p.m. EDT

— Every city has its trouble spots, and Durham Police have pinpointed one of their worst – Northeast Central Durham.

It’s an area that makes up 2 percent of the city’s total land, but it accounts for 20 percent of the city’s crime. Durham Police are kicking off a campaign to stop the violence – Operation Bulls Eye.

Charnita Green lives in the target area.

“It’s bad over here. It really is, and a lot of people need help here,” she said.

Police call it the hot zone. Statistics show 30 percent of all gang members live in Northeast Central Durham.

“Prostitution, robberies and burglaries are some of the top issues in that area, and we’re going to address them in a variety of ways,” said Durham Police Maj. B.J. Council.

Maj. Jim Bjurstrom said there will be a noticeable difference in police presence in the area.

“We think by dealing with this actual area, it will have an affect on the crime rate throughout the city,” he said.

Police plan to use gang, domestic violence and patrol units to beef up round-the-clock presence for the year-long focus.

“We know we have to hit it with a lot more than just law enforcement,” said Durham City Manager Patrick Baker.

Northeast Central Durham sits just blocks from a revitalized city center. Baker says the downtown can't survive if the outskirts crumble. The city plans to pour resources into the historically neglected inner city neighborhood.

The program will be a first. Police have never done a concentrated year-long operation like it. The beefed-up patrols will cost $200,000,  but city leaders say it's worth it.