Safety and the Bull City

Being safe and feeling safe are not the same thing. I used to live in a nice neighborhood in Durham that butted right up against one with quite a different reputation. I’d drive through the latter regularly to work and often pass the police mobile substation parked at one of its key intersections. My wife at the time wouldn’t let me go that way when we were riding together. One time when we did there was a guy standing in the middle of the road trying to look menacing while grabbing his crotch to hold up his beltless pants. While I saw a clown she saw a threat. I couldn’t talk her out of it. She pointed out that there might be a difference between a female and a 6’4″, 250lb aging jock, as if a bad guy with a gun would care one way or the other except to find me a much easier target to shoot.

Unfortunately, Durham had a reputation for a long time of being a high crime area. Good government and good policing have improved the statistics over the years but the reputation lingers in some circles and there may still be a few agents in neighboring cities that try to keep the myth alive either out of ignorance or to give their own community an edge. Some of Durham’s most desirable neighborhoods are cheek and jowl with neighborhoods of old mill houses and other modest affordable homes where poverty and the crime rates are higher. There are plenty of opportunities to isolate yourself from most of this in the suburbs but what I’ve found here and in my home town of Richmond is that, in spite of the old saw that familiarity breeds contempt, quite the opposite is true. Even in the very worst neighborhoods for crime, the vast majority of people are good citizens and live in peace and tolerance. Familiarity actually breeds comfort.

This part of the agenda is to highlight and promote the things that make us safer and make us feel safer. Suggestions for posts are always appreciated.

Crime in The Bull City

September 6, 2011
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Homer’s take on Crime in Durham I usually run into Homer in Home Depot where he has had a part time job for several years now. But this time I saw him in the buffet line at the Hope Valley Country Club where the monthly luncheon meeting of the Durham Regional Association of Realtors was […]

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National Night Out

August 17, 2011
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I’ve been in this quiet little neighborhood near where Hope Valley Road and University Drive intersect for 10 or 11 years now. There has been very little crime here other than change being taken from cars and a few break-ins when nobody was at home.  But a few years ago a neighbor walked into her […]

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Pride in Durham

November 30, 2009
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I collect most of my RSS feeds in Google Reader and I’ve found so many interesting ones to follow that sometimes I get way behind reading them…it’s kind of like unread magazines used to stack up unread when print media was more fashionable. I was catching up after the Thanksgiving holidays and came across a […]

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