City of Raleigh highlights measures to improve downtown safety

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023
City of Raleigh highlights measures to improve downtown safety
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Raleigh city leaders received an update on efforts to address safety concerns downtown during a work session Tuesday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh city leaders received an update on efforts to address safety downtown during a work session Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the city shared plans to hire private security patrols near the Blount Street bus terminal, where several incidents have been reported, including a deadly stabbing.

"Everything's (at the Moore Square Parking Deck) been converted to what you see in the stairwell there, LED lighting there to enhance the brightness in all of our parking decks. We've expanded our security camera coverage," said Paul Kallam, Assistant Transportation Director for the City of Raleigh.

The city has installed an emergency call box at the Moore Square Parking Deck and added signage.

During last week's State of Downtown report released by Downtown Raleigh Alliance, President and CEO Bill King acknowledged Glenwood South and the Warehouse District have recovered more quickly than Moore Square, though he added that Moore Square is coming off of a strong year.

Despite this, the park was largely quiet on Tuesday despite the nice weather.

"I think people are choosing to avoid it just because of what's going on around here," said Douglas Lee, who works downtown.

Lee expressed safety issues, especially at night.

"Once the park was open, we determined there were other areas where we had some exposure in those view sheds, so we added additional security cameras, primarily to cover the lawn, the café building, and our Visitors Center across the street on Martin (Street). We've also introduced RPD officers acting in off-duty capacities as well as private security as needed to support special events and programs," explained Troy Burton, Historic Resources and Museum Program Administrator, of work at Moore Square Park.

Burton added that DRA ambassadors are available to respond to concerns.

"I believe if more security is out here, more lighting, (and) everything else, I think the people will be more safe," said Lee.

"More lighting and police officers because when it's dark, you don't know who's (around). If the police are on the beat, walking the streets, that gives you more security and confidence," added Mary E. Kenan, who lives in Raleigh.

City staffers also acknowledged the number of people who are homeless and frequent the park, stressing the importance of highlighting available social services, including Oak City Cares, which can provide assistance. They further discussed food distribution opportunities, and how that could work under current ordinances.