Questions Over Added Downtown Greenville Police Presence

With the double fatal shooting in downtown Greenville in the summer of 2009, safety continues to be a top concern for ECU students, downtown businesses, and the city council.

How much should taxpayers be paying to police downtown Greenville? One city councilwoman is concerned they might be paying too much and leaving other parts of the city unsafe.

Councilwoman Rose Glover says the added downtown security has cost taxpayers more than $500,000. So she's asking, "What about the rest of Greenville?" Glover says, "We want to make sure everyone in Greenville is getting protection just as much as those downtown. The policing downtown I think was a knee jerk reaction. What happened was a random act of violence, but in my district I've had more killings."

ECU students we talked with say the extra law enforcement downtown makes them feel safer-but question so many officers in such a small area.

Glover is asking for a new strategy, a plan she says will disperse officers over a wider area, making them more visible in all neighborhoods.

The business owners who spoke at the city council meeting Thursday say they also think there should be more police outside of downtown, but the top concern should not be the cost. They say the issue is safety. Some businesses have actually offered to pay out of their own pocket to keep more police downtown.

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