RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Cracking down on noise violations, putting metal detectors at the entrance of businesses, and an increased police presence on Glenwood South.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson went before the City Council Tuesday afternoon and recommended some serious changes.
She is determined to make the area safe again.
Patterson told City Council members the mass shooting in Sacramento over the weekend was a wake-up call.
“It gets too rowdy, there’s too many very inebriated people,” said Liza Elarbee, who lives in Raleigh.
“It’s extremely crowded and it feels too chaotic,” said Jasmine Denizard, a Raleigh resident.
The Glenwood South neighborhood in the middle of a workday looks very different on the weekends after the sun goes down.
It’s not safe enough for Raleigh city leaders and Patterson.
“We are seeing increased intoxicated individuals in possession of handguns. It’s something we’re seeing every weekend,” said Patterson
She said the crowds are a huge concern.
Patterson explained that there are 12,000 people at times crammed onto the streets, outside of the bars, restaurants, and clubs.
She said they’re coming from Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, and Greensboro.
“Over half of the people we arrest – they do not live in our jurisdiction,” added Patterson.
There were 64 concealed weapon violations over the past nine months, compared to 15 from June 2019 to March 2020.
Also, during the past nine months, there were 36 attacks against EMS workers and law enforcement officers.
That’s more than double the number of similar attacks in 2019-2020.
“This is a wake-up call,” said Councilmember David Knight after Patterson’s presentation.
“With the issues we’re seeing, I believe at some point, we’re going to have a national incident. And I don’t want to see that,” said Patterson.
She wants to re-write some of the codes for the hospitality district, to allow her officers to enforce the rules easier, and better.
There’s also the idea of having business owners install metal detectors at the entrances.
“It’s an effective means to keep guns out of the area,” said Patterson.
“Can we make that requirement in the hospitality district?” asked Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.
“I would love that,” said Patterson.
The city attorney and police attorney are checking to see if they can legally require business owners to install the metal detectors.
Making Raleigh safer is a goal that many can agree on.
“We’re having a lot of new people coming in to try all the different places and everything else. They would feel safer coming in where there’s more police presence,” added Elarbee.
Patterson said her motto is vibrant but safe.
She does not want to interfere with the big success of Glenwood South but wants to make people comfortable with going to the district.