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Raleigh Already on Road to Revitalization

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RALEIGH — In an effort to breathe new life into thenation's cities, President Clinton promises some changes. Part of his planwould help stop infrastructure decay and put thousands of police officersinto rundown areas as residents. The Urban Homestead initiatives wouldgive up to 2,000 police officers 50 percent discounts on purchasinggovernment-owned homes.

The City of Raleigh has its own initiative in place. Officers here areencouraged to live in crime-infested communities for two years rent-free.The President's plan would only strengthen what one officer says is a verygood community policing program.

Stephanie Banks-Manuel is a neighbor that everyone enjoys.Friends say she is fun-loving, caring, and in the kind of person theycalling in a time of need. Banks-Manuel is a Raleigh police officer. Herbeat is in the Shaw University community, an area that's experienced itsshare of crime.

A single parent of two children, she is also a graduate of ShawUniversity. As a police officer living in the inner city she's establishedan important line of trust among residents.

In Durham, people living in public housing projects feel a lot safer whenpolice are around. Captain Steven Chalmers says the president's plan issomething police departments should embrace openly.

Officer Banks says the Raleigh program works.

Beginning next week, the Durham Police Department will launch a newcommunity policing project. Fourteen officers will be assigned permanentduty in Durham's public housing areas.Officers on the street say the President's plan is giant leap in the rightdirection but it will also require a lot of help from members of the toughcommunities police protect and serve.

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