On Monday, June 3, 2019, I spoke on behalf of the Friends of Durham in support of the requested funding by the City Manager's Office and the Police Department for the department's 2019-2020 budget. If you missed the televised budget hearing, you can read the statement below.
DPD BUDGET REQUEST – CITY COUNCIL
Public Hearing, Monday, June 3, 2019
I speak tonight, as chair of and on behalf of the Friends of Durham, in support of the Police Department budget request.
In 2016, IACP submitted its report on the department’s operations. Although the report made over forty recommendations, it summarized that the department was “generally efficient and well-organized with a strong commitment to community policing and collaborative problem-solving efforts.” But among those many recommendations, was one that goes to the heart the department’s current request. The study supported adding personnel to the department. This is not to suggest that the addition of personnel will automatically result in a significant reduction of crime. But it helps, and moreover, it speaks to some of the operational and management needs that are directly impacted by having adequate staffing levels, such as better patrol schedules and more opportunities for community engagement.
The most recent IACP report continues to support the addition of sworn and non-sworn personnel. The report cites upward population growth from 2006 through 2016, while departmental FTEs remained relatively stagnant. This growth has continued since that time and is expected to reach over 280,000 by 2020; that is a 24% increase since the last census.
It is important to note that funding alone is not the answer, and although our police department builds relationships through programs such as Police R.E.A.D.S., Safe Place, and National Night Out, we know that we must also support our community organizations and our residents who are working daily on the root causes of crime, such as poverty, racial inequity, and reduced economic opportunities.
The Friends of Durham asks that you support the funding request, consider purchasing Shotspotter, and find more ways to collaborate with our community partners.
 IACP Study page 1 of executive summary
 IACP Study page 10: 2010 census population was 228,330. 2020 census population is expected to be 283,210. From the IACP Study citing 2000‐2014 Data Source: http://factfinder.census.gov
1980 Census Source:
1990 Census Source: https://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/1990s/tables/SU‐99‐05.txt
Welcome to 2019.
Durham continues to be an exciting place to live, work, and play. It has become one of the hottest places in the country in which to settle down, relocate, and even retire. But as our growth brings new opportunities, it also brings new challenges, and to face those challenges we must be willing to embrace bold change by engaging in open dialogue about the issues facing our community. So, with this first blog post of 2019, I welcome you to the new Friends of Durham.
We recognize that in order to make Durham the best that it can be for everyone, our organization has to do more than simply re-brand our image and re-state our vision. We have to impart leadership on issues in a way that provides a comprehensive analysis of and open discussion about the changes that we need to make in our city. So, we're focusing on four core issues that we believe are the issues that will make our community stronger: education, crime, strong economy, and good government. This doesn't mean that you won't hear us talk about related topics like transportation, housing, and race relations. On the contrary, not only will we be talking, but we will also be listening.
I invite you to follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of what's next and to also check out our website for blog updates. There's a lot happening in 2019. We're getting ready. We're committed to Durham, and we know you are too.
Chair, Friends of Durham