What Fayetteville plans to spend to reduce violent crime

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After presenting ideas to Fayetteville City Council last month with strategies to reduce violent crime in Fayetteville, Police Chief Gina Hawkins returned to council on Monday to seek funds for these strategies.

The request for $ 810,000 was unanimously approved by council.

Of the amount requested, $ 250,000 will go to micro-grants.

“It’s really for the community to bring ideas and initiatives that they have and also give them educational opportunities to learn how to write a grant in that context,” Hawkins said Monday.

In a working session on August 2, she said that most crimes are committed because it is an easy solution to problems such as financial burdens, but it can inevitably lead to serious consequences as in the case of homicide.

Community micro-grants, Hawkins previously said, will seek to fund programs that educate community members about the different options people can pursue instead of crime. An example of programs these grants could fund is Educating Kids about Gun Violence, a community-based gun violence education program.

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The grants would be awarded to individuals or groups who wish to start a program or organization aimed at opening up opportunities for those who could easily turn to a life of crime, Hawkins said.

An additional $ 100,000 will go to public-private camera feed technology.

Police currently monitor 116 city-owned cameras or solicit communities for private surveillance footage during investigations.

The new technology allows residents and businesses to register and share their camera feeds with the city when a crime occurs in their area, Hawkins previously said.

A portion of the funding is also $ 180,000 to hire four “violent interrupters” at a salary of $ 45,000 each.

“These are four people who would work within the community as a member of the community and who can do more than we can do as a police service,” Hawkins said Monday. “They have validity within the community.”

A violence switch is a member of the community who has been involved in crime, gangs, or drugs, or has been in prison and understands how crime works and is able to step in when tensions are high, has t -she stated previously.

They would get to know community members and their concerns to try to help deter crime, but will not participate in investigations.

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The police department typically donates $ 3,000 to Crime Stoppers each year, but Hawkins recommended providing $ 10,000 this year because the group “struggled to fundraise” last year due to COVID- 19.

Another increase in funding will go to software focused on repeat offenders.

The city currently pays $ 32,575 per year for the software, which is expected to have a new annual cost of $ 49,500 associated with a different module.

$ 150,000 is also being funded for two research intelligence analysts who will be hired to assess trends in violent crime and analyze victimology and suspect backgrounds “to improve the prosecution of repeat offenders.”

The final expense is $ 105 for gunshot detection technology, which would alert authorities to gunshots that occur before 911 calls are made.

City Manager Doug Hewett said the police department’s demands will come from designations and unspent funds in the city’s budget.

Hawkins and Mayor Mitch Colvin have indicated that Hawkins will return to council at a later date for a separate funding request related to retention and officer recruitment.

During the August 2 business session, Hawkins reported that the Fayetteville Police Department is short of 53 officers and also identified recruitment and retention strategies, including consideration of a pay rise.

On Monday, Colvin said he understood that consideration for recurring salaries was underway.

“But as a company, if I have a goal, I sometimes offer incentives to my employees if they achieve it,” Colvin said of what he intends to discuss with the advice at a later date.

In other business from Monday’s board meeting, board members:

APPROVED a special use permit allows Southern Pines Brewery to open a second commercial location in downtown Fayetteville at 123 Hay St.

The special use permit was requested to grant an exception to a zoning requirement of 500 feet of separation between a bar and educational and religious buildings.

The Shops at 123 Hay St., an antique store, is currently in space.

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Design coordinator and project contact Julianne Harrelson said the company received a letter of support from the board of directors at nearby Capitol Encore Academy.

The board said it was not worried about the growth of “responsible businesses” in the historic downtown district and said the entrance to Hay Street School is used on a limited basis during the school day.

Harrelson said Gaston Brewing Co. and Huske Hardware are nearby establishments that already have a similar use to Southern Pines Brewery.

Hank Parfitt, a resident of Fayetteville, said he had initial concerns about setting up another brewery downtown. He visited the Southern Pines Brewery location in Southern Pines and said it was well designed and does not object until the special use permit is tied to the owner of the Southern business. Pines Brewery to make sure a “seed bar” does not enter. space in the future.

Southern Pines Brewery owner Micah Niebauer, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd Special Forces Group, said his business has been selling beer to the Fayetteville and Fort Bragg area since opening in 2014.

“We wish we could have a facility where we can really be rooted here in downtown Fayetteville…” said Niebauer. “While we make beer, our job is to create and nurture community. ”

City Councilor Shakeyla Ingram made a motion to approve the request, based on the facts noted by city staff that it will comply with the city’s land use plans and the special use permit will expire. within a year if a building permit is not issued.

Ingram’s motion was seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen, City Councilor Johnny Dawkins, City Councilor Courtney Banks-McLaughlin, Colvin and City Councilor Yvonne Kinston.

It was opposed by City Councilor Tisha Waddell, City Councilor Larry Wright, City Councilor DJ Haire and City Councilor Christopher Davis.

Wright asked Niebauer if there were any plans to sell food. Niebauer said the company mainly focuses on beer, cider and “light meals” like cheese.

APPROVED 49 appointments to 17 Fayetteville boards and commissions, with the exception of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission.

A motion by Wright to appoint Colonel Arnold Porter was approved by Wright, Dawkins, Davis, Colvin and Haire. Ingram, Waddell, Banks-McLaughlin, Jensen and Kinston opposed the motion.

Kinston brought forward a motion to bring Porter and another candidate, Alicia Debbin, for an interview at a later date. His motion was carried 6-4, with Waddell, Wright, Haire and Davis casting dissenting votes.

APPROVED a conditional zoning application to change the zoning of four single-family residential zones at 1464 Bingham Drive, 6309 Crestwood Avenue, 6304 Denver Drive and 1492 Bingham Drive to limited conditional commercial use. City staff members said the request was incompatible with the city’s unified development ordinance and the future land use plan. Lori Epler represented the owner and said the site was originally a mobile home park when it was purchased in 1989. She said the owner plans to install a 10,500 foot convenience store and gas store. square and a small commercial area on the property. Owner Richard Johnson said the neighborhood, which has an apartment complex nearby, doesn’t have many stores in the area. He said a nearby church approves and he doesn’t want to upset anyone and wants to keep a “family-oriented setting.” Davis said he believes the demand meets the needs of the district.

APPROVED a special use permit application for a day care center at 4770 Lakewood Drive. Haire and Davis rejected the request after a nearby resident said he was concerned about the center’s proximity to his property and that this would create additional traffic on top of the existing bus traffic for the neighborhood.

Editor Rachael Riley can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3528.

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