Durham mayor says more officers won’t fix the city’s crime problem

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The city of Durham has seen more than two dozen homicides this year and multiple shootings over the last month.

On Tuesday morning, a memorial grew near Duke Street and Leon Street in Durham where nine-year-old Zion Person was tragically shot and killed on Sunday night.

Now residents are speaking out and demanding the city do more to protect their people.                

“We definitely are seeing an uptick in violence so if there’s an uptick in one, shouldn’t there be an uptick in police presence as well,” said Sam Rose, a resident who lives on Leon Street in Durham.

CBS 17 asked Mayor Steve Schewel what the city plans to do in response to the recent violence.

“Even if we had more officers there wouldn’t have been an officer at that street corner when that person fired from one car into another car and killed that little child,” Schewel said.

Instead, Schewel said there needs to be more mental health services, drug treatment programs and jobs for people living in poverty.

Schewel said the city also needs help from other governing bodies.

“We need our federal and state government to step up and do their share,” Schewel said.

As far as an immediate plan for action from the city, the mayor said police will continue to do what they are doing.

“We can’t switch our tactics every time something happens,” Schewel said.

Officials with the police department told CBS 17 they are going to continue to use different strategies to fight crime which include assigning additional resources to the homicide unit, focusing on offenders associated with these homicides, and reallocating patrol resources based on the crime trend.

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