Inside Look at Police Crackdown on Fayetteville Shootings
Four recent shootings in Fayetteville prompted police to beef up patrols. To see how it is working, 5NEWS Reporter Allison Woods rode with officers as they the patrolled streets where people were shot and homes were hit by bullets.
After gunfire in the streets, retaliation, and neighbors shooting neighbors, Fayetteville police are out in greater numbers to end the violence.
“Right here is location where we had one of our shootings,” said Sgt. Shannon Gabbard as he patrolled Curtis and Fairlane Avenue.
The shootings occurred on Curtis and Fairlane, Boxley and West End, several people were shot and at least 18 arrested.
Police say those locations are all densely populated areas which posed a threat to innocent bystanders.
“You’ve got bicycles in almost every yard, kids usually out over here on a regular basis and you’ve got gunfire flying back and forth between the distances of two or three houses,” says Gabbard.
Year to date, there have been 98 weapons arrests in Fayetteville, according to police.
“It does appear that there are individuals that are willing to take things to that level though, to use a gun, legally or otherwise for illegal means,” explains Gabbard.
Gabbard says police visibility will only help so much.
“These are preventive patrols, and you know, having a patrol car driving through the neighborhood is great but it’s only going to get you so far,” he said.
But the eyes and ears of the community are your neighbors.
“What neighborhood watch really is, is information sharing, it’s a two-way communication and it just makes it simpler to where from the police department we have one person, that we are talking with from a neighborhood,” explains Sgt. Craig Stout.
You may see neighborhood watch signs but that doesn’t mean there is a program in place, according to police.
“But a true, by-the-book neighborhood watch, we just don’t have that many,” adds Stout.
In fact, there are only two established neighborhood watch programs in Fayetteville.
“You’re in a community that turns over a lot, there`s a lot of transition, you’ve got a majority of property that’s rental property,” he said. “So you’re not having people stay here for a great length of time. So a lot time you don’t have as much investment in the neighborhood,” says Sgt. Stout.
To start a neighborhood watch enlist neighbors and contact officials at your local police department who can provide additional information.