Local News

Fort Bragg Police Winning in Battle Against Crime

Posted December 4, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— You don't hear much about crime at Fort Bragg, mainly because the US Army doesn't like to publicize such things. Last spring, WRAL-TV5'sRick Gall asked for crime statistics and his request was denied. Recently, he asked again and, this time, got the numbers he sought.

Fort Bragg military police stay busy, as the daytime population swells to about 80,000 people on post. Military police write plenty of traffic tickets, but they also battle crime, and say they're gaining ground.

Felony violent crime has fallen from 26 incidents in 1993 to seven in 1996.

Provost Marshal Ltc. Stephen Midkiff says the post is like a city.

Police are always after thieves and vandals, although statistics show a downward trend, from 3,200 property crimes in 1994 to 1,500 in 1997. Midkiff says sometimes that type of crime is preventable.

Overall, Fort Bragg's numbers show there's much less crime on post, than off. Kindra Gilbert, a soldier's wife, says she agrees.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, thieves broke into the home of Rachel Davison and her soldier-husband.

The provost marshal says information on crime is given to neighborhood leaders and unit commanders, but unless there's a major incident, little is said about crime.

Liza Clark is married to a Fort Bragg soldier. She says she thinks such information should be made public more often.

Post police have tried to work more closely with the people they aim to protect, but some believe it's time to pick up the pace of communication.

Fort Bragg is helping develop a database that will track crime at army installations. The information will give military police another weapon to fight crime. The database will contain specific personnel information, so it will not be open to the public to browse.