Asheville Rocked by Violence in Wake of Defund Police Movement

    by Jon Brown at Fox News

    City leaders of a North Carolina tourist town that has been plagued with rising violent crime in recent years announced a 60-day initiative last week to improve conditions in its downtown district amid a crisis in police staffing.

    The City of Asheville said they are taking “targeted steps” to address the rising number of incidents affecting public safety with the initiative slated to begin May 1, according to a news release from city government.

    “There are complex circumstances contributing to the safety issues that Asheville is currently seeing downtown and it will take a community response to address these complexities,” the city said. “Multiple City departments are coordinating a City government response and we also need participation from community leaders and partners to address all the factors contributing to the rise in crime.”

    The announcement comes as violent crime in Asheville, a town of approximately 90,000 people in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has surged in recent years. Aggravated assaults rose by 21.8%, and armed robberies increased by 20% from 2021 to 2022, according to APD statistics.

    The city’s new initiative will include increased law enforcement presence downtown, including foot, bike and vehicle patrols and enhanced security in parks. Authorities will also devote attention to keeping downtown clean by removing litter, needles and biological waste.

    The city will also increasingly monitor areas in downtown where vagrancy, drug use and crimes are known to happen more frequently, such as parking garage stairwells and Pritchard Park. Authorities will also closely attend to enforcing laws against graffiti on public property and take measures to remove it quickly.

    The city plans to work with Duke Energy to concentrate efforts to identify and replace streetlight outages, and will also partner with private and nonprofit organizations to identify key problem areas downtown and perform maintenance activities.

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