Downtown Greensboro boosters (among which I count myself) are surely happy to hear that the city council is responding to their requests for a stronger police presence in the center city on those crowded weekend nights.
According to the News & Record,
"We have been screaming for more security since 2000," John Lomax, who lives in and co-owns the Kress Building on South Elm Street, told city leaders in a recent meeting on the topic. "It's running away our customers. I would like to see some action."Some councilmembers have endorsed horse-mounted patrols.
Starting this weekend, police say, as many as 10 off-duty officers will be paid overtime to work the night shift downtown. Previously, only two or three officers might be patrolling the 20-block area on a given night."
Sounds good to me. Every business should be able to operate without fear of crime. And the downtown merchants are afraid that one serious crime -- a stabbing, shooting, or just a fight -- might drive away their business.
But I doubt that they're as afraid as the business owners and residents of Phillips Avenue area, who are not just afraid that a shooting, stabbing, or fight might happen. They're afraid because they happen all the time.
Ben Holder has been on this for a long time, -- read it all -- but here's a summary of crimes at only two addresses in the past year according to Ben's investigation:
Assaults: 5No business can thrive, no person can lead a decent life, under such conditions.
Auto thefts: 7
Narcotics arrests: 52
So why is no one calling for mounted police on Phillips Avenue?