The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and partner community organizations are aware of the concern about public safety for all in our community.
With the recent increase, concentration and frequency of break-ins and thefts in downtown, West Asheville, River Arts District and East Asheville, we continue to hear from workers, business owners, residents and customers about their fears and frustrations. We understand the emotional and financial stress created by the costs, clean-up and closures from damages.
For the health of our community members and economy, we believe it’s important to communicate with residents and partners about what you can do to engage in the public process.
REPORT CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
We appreciate that there is growing frustration with the lack of visible results or responses when criminal activity has been reported due to the lack of Asheville Police Department (APD) workforce. Even with the implementation of proactive recruitment and salary adjustments, just 11 officers were sworn in in December and the force remains 40% down. However, reporting each incident is critical in building a more complete picture of the crime situation in our area.
We strongly encourage reporting any incidents of crime to the police. It is only through our collective efforts that we can effectively combat crime and make our community a safer place for all.
In the City of Asheville, there are several ways to report a crime.
BREAK-IN PREVENTION SESSION WITH APD FEBRUARY 20
The Asheville Police Department’s Community Engagement Division is offering a hybrid break-in prevention session for area businesses from 9-11am February 20. Learn practical tips for making your business more secure to hamper break-ins and vandalism. Attendees will also have the opportunity ask questions of officers. Here’s a link to the session registration.
PRIORITIZING PUBLIC SAFETY
Share your thoughts on public safety with the Asheville City Council during an especially important time, the City’s budget season. Take ten minutes to ensure that the City understands the need to prioritize funding for public safety, community responders and the Asheville Police Department. Survey here.
PLUG INTO BUNCOMBE COUNTY’S COMMUNITY CAMERA REGISTRY PROGRAM
In addition, please be aware of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department Real Time Intelligence Center. This center provides real-time surveillance footage from cameras throughout Buncombe County.
Asheville City Council recently approved the installation of real-time cameras in city-owned high-traffic areas including Pritchard Park, City Hall and the corner of Lexington and Hiawassee.
Your business can opt to join the system to enhance the safety of their premises. To learn more about this program and register your private cameras, please visit this site.
ASSISTING HOMELESSNESS RESPONSE
The City is testing a dedicated resource to streamline and enhance responsiveness to resident reports of homelessness activity to help outreach partners and crisis response teams to connect those experiencing homelessness with the services they need. Report issues or incidents needing attention to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County and the City are coordinating to develop a multidisciplinary community responders pilot program to assist persons that are unsheltered and/or experiencing addiction or behavioral health issues.
Thank you for your time, engagement and for caring about public safety for all.