Durham violent crime trending down; DPD staffing shortages persist

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ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Durham violent crime trending down; DPD staffing shortages persist
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Despite ongoing concerns over gun violence in Durham, violent crime in the Bull City is currently trending down.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Despite ongoing concerns over gun violence in Durham, violent crime in the Bull City is currently trending down.

Police Chief Patrice Andrews presented the city's third quarter crime stats to Durham City Council Tuesday afternoon.

Homicides and aggravated assaults are both down in Durham - compared to the same period last year. There were 16 percent fewer homicides at 32; and 20 percent fewer aggravated assaults at 890.

But rape and robberies increased in Durham. 97 rapes marked a 7 percent increase from this time last year; and 465 robberies was a 28 percent spike.

Violent crime overall in Durham declined by 7 percent. There were fewer shooting incidents; fewer people shot; one less deadly shooting and fewer non-fatal shootings.

But Monday night's murder on Gary Street, where a man was found shot and later died, was top of mind as Chief Andrews presented the new numbers to council.

"It's always hard to talk about or even try to celebrate a reduction in crime in some crime rates when such a tragedy happened last night in our city," Andrews said. "But we certainly will be wrapping our arms around that family and praying for our community."

Monday night's murder marked Durham's second deadly shooting over the last week. Last Tuesday, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed on Sima Avenue near Durham's McDougald Terrace housing complex.

STAFFING SHORTAGES PERSIST AT DPD

The report also reveal DPD continues to struggle with staffing shortages. Chief Andrews acknowledged the increasing difficulty of keeping enough officers on staff.

"I see officers that are overworked. And when we start to ask them why are you leaving, we see many who are getting out of the profession altogether," she told council members.

The report shows DPD is now 79 percent staffed with sworn officers. The department is authorized for 549 officers. Currently, there are 433 on the job.