Shotspotter, hiring dozens of officers: Fayetteville police, city leaders discuss bolstering public safety

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Thursday was a chance for Fayetteville police and the city council to lay their cards out on the table.

City leaders and police officials held a special meeting Thursday evening to discuss police recruitment and public safety.

Fayetteville police said they hope to hire more than 60 officers in the coming weeks and months.

They said they are making recruiting trips to places like Virginia and South Carolina to make that happen.

They presented in the meeting that the department is targeting schools like Fayetteville Technical Community College and Fayetteville State University.

Police also mentioned working with Fort Bragg on a transition program to recruit soldiers to become officers.

Right now, there is a $4,000 incentive for new hires and a $6,000 incentive if you are new and have been in the military.

“Yes, there is a shortage, but operationally, we’ll move assets and individuals will volunteer to come in and work extra hours,” an officer said at the meeting.

A good portion of the meeting also focused on crime. A chart presented showed what police say are the motives behind homicides this year.

So far, 20 percent of the homicides are drug-related. 15 percent are domestic, and 13 percent are mental-illness related.

Some of the ways, police said they hope to curb the crime is starting a community violence interrupters program, detectives working with U.S. Marshals to track down offenders, and de-escalation.

“Policing today is vastly different than in 1993. We take our time. We try to solve the problem. Figure out what’s going on and just slow down,” an officer said.

City leaders wrapped up the meeting by saying the next step is figuring out a way to bring in shot spotters, which detect gunshots.

Also, they discussed bolstering advertising when it comes to recruiting officers.

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