Local News

Raleigh Already on Road to Revitalization

Posted June 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— In an effort to breathe new life into the nation's cities, President Clinton promises some changes. Part of his plan would help stop infrastructure decay and put thousands of police officers into rundown areas as residents. The Urban Homestead initiatives would give up to 2,000 police officers 50 percent discounts on purchasing government-owned homes.

The City of Raleigh has its own initiative in place. Officers here are encouraged to live in crime-infested communities for two years rent-free. The President's plan would only strengthen what one officer says is a very good 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 they calling in a time of need. Banks-Manuel is a Raleigh police officer. Her beat is in the Shaw University community, an area that's experienced its share of crime.

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

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

Officer Banks says the Raleigh program works.

Beginning next week, the Durham Police Department will launch a new community policing project. Fourteen officers will be assigned permanent duty in Durham's public housing areas. Officers on the street say the President's plan is giant leap in the right direction but it will also require a lot of help from members of the tough communities police protect and serve.