RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson zeroed in on the department’s efforts in two parts of the city during her third-quarter crime report on Wednesday.
One of Raleigh’s main spots for food and fun is also a main point of interest for the Raleigh Police Department.
Patterson said the department’s stepped up enforcement efforts along Glenwood South in recent months. She said the effort has led to more than four times as many confiscated firearms and more than triple the number of arrests in the entertainment district.
“We have devoted additional resources as well on the weekends where we’re seeing most of the activity, we’ve altered the traffic patterns to prevent cruising and traffic bottlenecking, which prevents emergency vehicles from getting in if they need to get to that area,” Patterson said.
Nearby in downtown’s core, CBS 17 has heard stories from several business owners who feel unprotected, hiring private security.
“The Downtown Business Core is a concern for us and we want to make sure we have adequate resources for it,” Patterson said.
Patterson said that’s why they added cameras and more officers in the transit unit, though she would not specify how many more.
She stressed the department is taking a zero-tolerance approach to crime downtown.
“We were educating by giving people warnings initially, but we are taking an approach where if you are committing crime in those areas, we will take enforcement action,” Patterson said.
She said in the past five weeks near the businesses downtown and the GoRaleigh transit station, the department’s efforts resulted in 177 arrests, 71 felony charges, 59 trespassing violations and 18 juvenile petitions.
Despite these efforts, the city announced last month it will hire private security for the area.
“I don’t see that private security being a force or a group that’s going to hinder the job that we’re doing there,” Patterson said. “Actually I believe that they can supplement what we are doing. I would be clear that private security is not going to replace RPD officers.”
Patterson said the city is still working through what the private security team’s role will look like.