DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A member of Durham Public Schools Board of Education is calling on businesses to help prevent crime in the community.
Millicent Rogers didn’t plan to run for a seat on the board, but wanting to advocate for her son changed that.
“I ran based on the experiences that I had growing up… based on the experiences my son was feeling while he was in elementary school,” Rogers said.
Her mission is to keep kids in school as suspension and truancy rates rise in Durham.
She’s asking members of the group, Durham Businesses Against Crime, to do their part.
“This is a village,” she said. “And we have to know that everybody is doing our best to look out for the best interests of all our children and all our families.”
Thursday morning, business representatives and law enforcement brought their ideas to the table at the Durham Rescue Mission’s Center for Hope.
Rogers suggested they build mentor programs to engage youth and keep them away from crime.
“We don’t allow our children to walk in the street in front of a car, we teach them to stay on the sidewalk,” Rogers explained. “So, we need to teach them the way we want them to go, before they start doing the things that will cause problems.”
Some representatives said they plan to post on social media to target the younger population.
They encourage other businesses to get involved in these monthly community meetings.
“I think this is a wealth of knowledge and information and experience, and getting more people involved will just make it even more enriched,” said David Sielaty who represented Duke University at the meeting.
Durham Businesses Against Crime meets on the first Thursday of each month from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the Center for Hope.
Organizers are encouraging all businesses, big and small, to join in on the conversation.
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Recent crime trends in Durham
At the meeting, law enforcement also gave an update on their biggest concern right now when it comes to crime in Durham.
They warned businesses that there’s an uptick in vehicle break-ins.
Officers advised them to secure their company vehicles so their tools won’t be stolen.
Durham police also said trends are shifting when it comes to vehicle theft.
Vehicle thefts used to be more common at homes, however, they are now more common at apartment complexes, according to Durham police.
They asked people to be on the lookout for large groups wandering around, and to let law enforcement know if they see anything suspicious.
Officers also suggested double checking your insurance policies to see if they cover theft.