The Bull City can happily paw the ground and snort about this news. Police Chief Jose Lopez offered his annual crime report to the City Council and said the crime rate in 2012 took a steep drop from 2011.
And in fact, Lopez reported that the rate was at a 23-year low, which he rightly said was pretty amazing considering that the city’s population has about doubled since 1989. “A tremendous drop,” council member Steve Schewel said, “when you think about all the people who are not being robbed and hurt.”
Unfairly or not, and sometimes it has been unfair, Durham has been fighting a high-crime perception for years. That the city’s “numbers” are headed in the right direction is gratifying for residents and for neighbors in the Triangle. It’s also good that Lopez, whose job has been a hot seat, is working on a mentoring program to more closely connect officers with the community.
With some exciting downtown development, a boom in the arts with its Performing Arts Center and now good news on crime, Durham is justifiably optimistic about the future.