Policing / Safe Communities / Youth Crime

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect and defend our City and make it a better place to live for all families and communities. They are the police officer, the elected officials, the teachers, the clergy, the students, the senior citizens, and the parents-all pillars in our neighborhoods that make us safe and keep us safer.” – Farad Ali, Candidate for Mayor

WHERE I STAND:

Policing/Safe Communities:

It is of the utmost importance to prevent and reduce crime and make our communities safer. I firmly believe that it “takes a village” –building better relations between the police and the community is the key.

I fully support annual racial equity training as well as other practical diversity and human rights training that serves to build trust, prevent racial profiling and prepare the police for successful and safer interactions and outcomes. I would also continue the practice of the Chief of police to report on the status of the training that all officers have completed as part of the Fair and Impartial Policing training — now included in the Basic Law Enforcement Training curriculum for all incoming new recruits.

I support a safe work place and therefore support policies that call for random drug testing for law enforcement officers as well as other employers.

To achieve success, I support recruiting the best applicants as well as increasing staffing to full capacity– currently filling 499 of 547 sworn positions and 107 of124 non sworn positions is a giant step to achieving a full police force. In addition, I strongly support policies for community policing and incentives to encourage members of the police force to reside within the city as well as the “Take a Car Home” initiative.

I firmly support the continued documentation of data to track the number of traffic stops and searches in an effort to address the issue of racial profiling. I further support the Police Chief’s presentation of this data in the Quarterly reports to the Council.

Studies have shown that the implementation of body camera’s have resulted in a decrease in excessive force and racial profiling. In Durham, 75% of public in a small survey indicated the use of body cameras increased their trust in police and I strongly support the use of body cameras and efforts to ensure that privacy concerns are addressed when the cameras are deployed.

The Durham Police Department has a unique opportunity with new leadership to transform the image, trust, performance and the relationship between the community and police force. That includes addressing issues of racial disparity in policing and a greater emphasis on communicating with the citizens. I also believes that “it takes a village” to build a community and would prioritize transparency and communication with the residents of Durham. Starting with the office of the Mayor, City Council and Police Chief working together to strengthen the integrity of the police force in the communities eyes and to assist in preparing the force to better understand our diversity, be more tolerant and understanding and ultimately more successful in their role to keep our community safe.

Youth Crime:

The statistics on youth crime are frightening and we must work together to reverse this trend to save our youth, protect our citizens. Collaboration and look beyond the current programs and have the will to aggressively pursue initiatives that work.

  • Reverse the trends of gun violence and gang activity – where our youth ages 16-25 made up 62% of gun arrests
  • Reverse the statistics that showed from 2009-12, 73 percent of gun-homicide victims age 15-34 were black; 24 percent Hispanic, 3 percent white.
  • Remove the guns and violence acts and revere the statistics where In 2009-12, 83 percent of gun-involved aggravated assault victims age 15-34 were black; 9 percent Hispanic; 8 percent white.
  • Work together as a community – engaging schools, police and social justice networks.to offer a brighter future for our youth.
  • System that looks first to the human side to reduce incarceration that has taken a disproportional toll on minority youth.
  • De-concentrate neighborhoods that have high poverty rates where the percentage of gun homicides and aggravated assault rates were highest.

The FACTS:

  • Nationally and in Durham mistrust between the police and the community is one of the most deeply rooted problems facing our community.
  • Community accusations of racial bias and racial profiling contribute to growing lack of trust in police.
  • Violent crime up 9%
  • Property Crime up 7%
  • 62% of gun arrests were made by youth and young adults ages 16-25
  • 73% of gun homicide victims ranged in age 15-34 were black, 24% Hispanic and 3% white