WJTV News Channel 12 - Fayetteville City Council considering tax increase for more cops

Fayetteville City Council considering tax increase for more cops

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Fayetteville City Council is considering an increase to property taxes in an effort to put more cops on the streets.

This comes as new numbers from the FBI say the city had the fifth highest property crime rate last year in the United State. The FBI also says violent crime reports increased by 13 percent.

The news is no surprise for some city residents like Sue Rutledge. Rutledge has lived in Fayetteville since 1962 and says she wouldn't mind paying more taxes for more peace of mind.

"I think you'd feel safer back then," she said. "But there wasn't as much dope around as there is now, so I think that creates a lot of problems."

Rutledge's neighbor, Hanzel Lupe, agrees.

"My cousin has been broken into in his house a few weeks ago," he said. "They took all of his shoes, [and] they took his TV and a couple of other things."

Excluding the Fort Bragg area, "The Fayetteville Observer" found that Fayetteville has North Carolina's highest total rate of property and violent crimes.

But Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock takes issue with that methodology, saying you have to look at the area as a whole in order to paint an accurate picture. He also said that the number of crimes reported has increased because of his department's community outreach efforts.

"We're having increased 911 suspicious person, suspicious activity calls, so we're becoming victims of our own success to some degree [and] that's good," he said.

Medlock also said the police department is repositioning officers on a week-by-week basis across the city in an effort to be more adaptable in lowering the crime rate. But he added he wouldn't mind more money to increase the city's number of police officers.

City residents like George Sharp agree; Sharp's neighborhood, off Skibo Road, has seen three burglaries in the past month.

"You have a lot of so-called gangs that run around through here, and you rarely see any law enforcement at all," he said. "I think we do need a little more law enforcement out here."

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