Fayetteville City Council hopes adding officers will combat property crime
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FAYETTEVILLE -- With crime rates on the rise in Fayetteville, the Fayetteville City Council has decided to add police officers to the department.
John Thompson says crime in Fayetteville is definitely apparent and he feels the city council's initiative Monday night to add seven more officers to the force will be positive.
"More officers is a good thing, but you also need to back up the ones you already have, and allow them to do their job,” he said.
The Fayetteville City Council is working to add 28 new officers in the next five years.
"I think the thing we are looking for is a continued decrease in crime and when we reach that point that we have enough officers to combat crime as it is and we see a significant decrease in violent crime as well as home invasions, breaking and entering, then I think we will step back and take a conscious look at where we are in that vein,” said William Crisp, council member from District 6.
In 2011, the violent crime rate in Fayetteville, which includes, murders, rapes and robberies, was at 1,050. That's down 4.7 percent from 2010. But, property crimes including burglaries, larcenies, and vehicle thefts were up in the city by 2.6 percent.
It's something Fayetteville police say adding officers could assist in, but the citizens of Fayetteville also have to participate.
"You also have to address the root of the problem. That is why we have a community wellness plan and why we try to get so many members of our community involved in the process and participate in community watch groups. We have seen a dramatic increase in community watch groups in the past five years,” said Gavin MacRoberts, the PIO for the Fayetteville Police Department.
Residents like Johnson agree.
"People don't know anybody in their neighborhood anymore," he said. "Everybody is stuck in their own world and they don't pay attention to what is going on around them. Too much of the me, me, me and not enough community.