Fayetteville crime numbers down for 2014

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Fayetteville's top cop says his city's streets are safer, and his latest crime numbers prove it.

Fayetteville's top cop says his city's streets are safer, and his latest crime numbers prove it.

Monday night, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock told city council members overall violent crime was down in 2014.

"We have had a 9.2 percent decrease in violent crimes," Medlock said. "We have had five fewer murders in the city than last year."

Murders weren't the only crime numbers down. Robberies dropped almost 18 percent, assaults were down by 1.2 percent, and there was a 22 percent decrease in reported burglaries.

Those numbers Medlock says are preliminary crime stats for 2014, but show the city is moving in the right direction in fighting crime.

"I think folks are somewhat used to thinking Fayetteville is a dangerous place. The city is not a dangerous place, and we are working hard with community members every day and night to improve, and that's showing in these numbers," said Medlock.

The chief points to a growing increase in surveillance cameras, better police training, more officers on the street, and better community involvement for the drop in crime numbers. But at a community meeting earlier this month, almost half the residents said they do not feel safe.

City council members have made crime fighting their number one priority. Last January, Medlock promised the council a double digit drop in violent crimes in the city.

Monday night he promised city leaders another double digit drop in 2015. This time the chief says it's going to take more residents getting involved with crime fighting, and developing trust between the citizens and officers.

"If folks trust us to do the right thing when we have a tough time, it's because we have built that relationship. It's going to improve, and it's going to show for the city. I think it already has," Medlock said.

And later this week, Medlock is scheduled to address the president's Blue Ribbon Panel on 21st Century policing, to talk about what is working in Fayetteville and why. That meeting is Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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