Durham County

Clement honored for fighting Durham crime

Retiring City Councilman Howard Clement was honored Friday by the Durham Crime Cabinet, a group he helped establish in 1997.

“He has been a Durham treasure,” said attorney Patrick Byker, who co-founded the Crime Cabinet with Clement and County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow in response to a mid-1990s crime wave. The group fostered communication and cooperation between law enforcement, probation officers, judges, business and other areas.

“We broke down the silos,” said state Sen. Mike Woodard, a former cabinet member.

“Thanks to your leadership, Durham is a safer place to work and live,” said Reckhow. She and Clement had been co-chairmen since the cabinet’s beginning.

Cabinet members presented Clement a plaque and named him honorary co-chairman. Clement, 79, praised the anti-crime work of several others in the audience, but said he was always concerned when naming names that he would leave someone out.

“But since I’m not going to be running for election any time soon,” he said, “I’m not going to worry about that.”