Local News

Violent Crime Down in Fayetteville

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

— Cumberland County's reputation has suffered in years past because of its violent crime rate,and over the last few months, sheriff's investigators have been swamped with murder cases. But Fayetteville police have had no such problem, as of late.

It's been two years since a horrifying hate crime put Fayetteville in the national news. Weeks later, a study ranked this city the ninth most dangerous in the country. In 1995, there were 19 murders here. Last year, there were 14 murders. So far this year, there have been only eight.

Captain Brad Chandler of the Fayetteville Police Department says it is a surprising trend.

Police admit luck played a part in the decrease. They say plenty of people are still being shot, just not killed. Overall, however, violent crime has fallen seven percent this year and property crime is down one percent. Chandler says that's not bad when you consider that Fayetteville is actually more populous now because of annexation.

Police say law enforcement deserves some of the credit, but so does the community. Citizens are getting more involved in fighting crime. Cecil Barefoot goes out on patrol as a member of the Sherman Drive Community Watch. He says he's encouraged by the drop in crime in his neighborhood and across the city.

Police say they believe the city has turned a corner on crime, but they are quick to warn that this is not a time to let up in the fight against it.

Fayetteville police say people need to be especially protective against robberies, which are on the rise.

Photographer:Rick Allen