Fayetteville leaders address shootings

December 6, 2012 8:15:29 PM PST
City leaders addressed a rash of high-profile gun-related violent incidents in recent weeks during a news conference Thursday.

Interim Fayetteville Police Chief Katherine Bryant said despite recent headline-making events, statistics show crime rates are actually down.

She also said the city typically sees a slight increase in gun related violence during the holidays, and police set up a gun violence task force at the end of September to try and curb it.

"While there is no cause for alarm, these numbers are not acceptable," said Bryant.

Chief Bryant said additional officers are on duty during peak hours.

"I think, in general, Fayetteville is a very safe city, while we do have crime problems we need to address," Bryant offered.

City Manager Ted Voorhees said he hoped to look at more long-range solutions next year when a new permanent chief is named.

There have been multiple gun-related crime events in recent weeks, including three incidents at the same gas station.

Police have also made two arrests in the high profile robbery and murder of a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran.

Wolgang Joppich was murdered Nov. 25 near Bragg Boulevard - where he was known to go to feed wild cats.

Police also announced they've identified suspects in other recent robberies around the city.

Interim Chief Bryant said crime can also be prevented if citizens are aware of their surrounding and report anything suspicious.

She encouraged businesses to have surveillance camera systems as a deterrent.

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