Police want community to help fight crime

FAYETTEVILLE The plan may sound cliché, but Fayetteville's police chief thinks it will work.

"If we don't improve ourselves, or find better ways of doing things we don't feel we are giving anybody any justice," Police Chief Tom Bergamine said.

Earlier this year some council members and citizens voiced their concern after a spike in the city's crime rate, including a 30 percent jump in robberies.

For nearly three hours Monday night, Chief Bergamine talked about his plan to battle crime.

Before a crowd of mostly law enforcement officers and supporters, the chief said there are numerous reasons for the increase, including the ailing economy, drugs and alcohol abuse.

Chief Bergamine is calling his combat strategy a community wellness plan.

He says he is planning to increase community patrols, revamping case management programs and policies, as well as improving communications and co-operation with the sheriff's department, the DA and other city and county departments. Chief Bergamine also is talking about increasing community watch and crime prevention programs.

Council members called the chief's prevention plan enlightening.

"He gave us a number of good pointers, what we expected to happen, even the timeline when those things could happen," one councilmember said after the meeting.

Sheriff Moose Butler and District Attorney Ed Grannis also addressed city council's concerns about jail overcrowding and repeat offenders clogging the courts at Monday's meeting.

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