'Stop the violence': Fayetteville releases video campaign aimed at tackling rise in gun violence

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Crime scenes with flashing lights and caution tape have become a more common sight in parts of Fayetteville in the last few months.

The Fayetteville Police Department tells Eyewitness News, as of July 9, they've dealt with 26 homicides, 25 of those involving gun violence. Officials say that's eight more homicides than for the total month of July in 2020. It is important to keep in mind that there were still many COVID-19 restrictions in place during that time.

"It's sad, it's very sad," Councilmember Courtney Banks-Mclaughlin told ABC 11.

The rise in shooting deaths compelled city leaders to create a "Stop the Violence" campaign, posting a video to their social media and city sites earlier this week.

In the nearly two-minute-long video, several council members, including Banks-Mclaughlin call on community members to get more involved with helping address this problem. "Many ways to do that. You know, you can attend our community watch meetings. If you see something, say something."

In addition to community collaboration, Banks-Mclaughlin says they have several funded initiatives that the city hopes will make an impact on decreasing deadly crimes.

  1. Crime Information Center Renovations: An expansion of the monitoring stations and upgrades to crime data software will allow the city to meet the demand and find strategies to tackle gun violence
  2. Two Intelligence/Analytics Research Specialist Contract positions: These positions will provide a focused approach to asses violent crime trends and assist in the analysis of victimology and suspect history to enhance the prosecution process of repeat offenders.
  3. Gun-shot Detection Technology: This program will accurately identify locations of incidents involving firearms and increase the possibilities of locating more evidence for solving crimes.

Some other initiatives that will be considered in August include a gun buy-back program, gun locks for responsible gun owners, and an increase in the CrimeStoppers rewards. Banks-Mclaughlin says these considerations could play a role in deterring crime.

"I'm not just a councilmember, I am a citizen; I live in the community. I want my children to live in a safe environment," Banks-Mclaughlin said.
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