By KEITH UPCHURCH : The Herald-Sun
Sep 30, 2008
DURHAM — A yearlong police effort to cut crime in East Durham has paid off
with a 28.3 percent drop in violent offenses, giving residents a higher
quality of life and more peace of mind, Durham police officials said on
Operation Bull’s Eye, which concentrated on a 2-square-mile area of East
Durham, continued from Aug. 1, 2007, to July 31 of this year.
Results show violent crime fell from 339 to 243 incidents during the period
compared to a 12-month period from May 1, 2006, to April 30, 2007.
“It was a success,” said Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez. “It brought crime
down. I’m not much of a numbers person, but in talking to people in that
neighborhood, there’s been a difference in what they see.
“The people see that there’s been a positive change, that the quality of
their life in that area has improved.”
Even some residents who had been skeptical now say “it’s done a lot that’s
positive for the neighborhood,” Lopez said.
In addition to violent crime, prostitution complaints from the public in the
area dropped from 189 to 109, a 42.3 percent decline. And drug calls fell
8.5 percent, from 878 to 803, the study showed.
About 50 people were arrested on drug charges in the area during the period,
according to Deputy Police Chief Beverly “B.J.” Council.
“We were able to recover about 131 guns in that area,” she said. “We
conducted about 450 license checks, which is a good way to interact with
those bad guys and get information we need.”
Council said police knocked on doors at more than 2,800 homes to alert
residents about the operation, to pass out information and ask if residents
needed help “with any other quality-of-life issues.”
She said police spent about $275,000 in overtime pay to officers during the
Lopez said police plan to continue to focus on East Durham crime “with the
“We’re not stopping it,” Lopez said. “We’re going to continue.”
C 2008 by The Durham Herald Company. All rights reserved.