• 37°

Partnering to cut crime

Residents of Salisbury’s West End neighborhood have taken a key step toward fighting crime in their neighborhood — raising awareness by airing their concerns at City Council meetings. Now they and the city need to work together to restore peace and security.
Salisbury Police can’t do it alone, and neither can the residents.
The West End is bound by South Caldwell, West Innes, Hedrick, Burton, Grace and West Thomas streets. Recent problems there have been well-documented — three killings in 10 months, dozens of break-ins and multiple shootings. The tipping point seemed to come when a stray bullet went into the bedroom two girls shared. Though they heard the shots, the girls didn’t discover how close they came to tragedy until they tried to use the small TV between their beds. It was broken, hit by a bullet that came through the wall behind it.
That was too close — in the line of fire.
This situation has been building for some time. Police Chief Rory Collins told City Council in January that, compared to five years ago, the city’s overall crime rate was down by 8.6 percent while the West End’s crime rate was up by 12.6 percent. He shared plans to beef up patrols.
But drive-by shootings continued, so frustrated citizens felt that only taking the matter to City Council would get them real results. They had a sense of urgency to get something done, and they weren’t convinced the city shared that feeling. The largely African-American population of the neighborhood has felt slighted.
Police walk a fine line as they try to restore a sense of security for the West End. It’s one thing to see police cars on patrol, another to feel like you’re living in a police state. While some residents are fine with police checking every suspicious vehicle and questioning loiterers, it would not take much to prompt others to claim harassment and racial profiling.
It doesn’t help when, after a shooting occurs, everyone who might have witnessed the crime goes mum with police. They may fear reprisals or distrust police — maybe both. Residents need to share what they know and police must respect their desire for confidentiality. The neighborhood and police need to build a better relationship to tackle this problem together.
Crime stems from a host of problems in the areas of employment, education, housing, opportunity and more. No one program can address them all. But one thing could condemn crime-fighting efforts — the failure of residents and police to work together. As adversaries, they waste energy clashing with each other. As partners, they double their power to bring about positive change.

Comments

Comments closed.

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month