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Standing room only for Southern Pines crime meeting

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The Southern Pines Police Department hosted a community meeting on Wednesday night. The Southern Pines Police Department hosted a community meeting on Wednesday night.
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -

A meeting on crime in Southern Pines was standing room only on Wednesday night. 

Neighbors and business owners voiced their concerns to police about a perceived up tick in violence and vandalism in a downtown park.

An incident on Oct. 6 took up the bulk of the meeting. That's when an 18-year-old was shot and a stray bullet made it's way into a nearby candle shop. Soon after, police arrested a 16-year-old from Aberdeen.

Read more: Southern Pines taking action after downtown gun violence

Longtime residents said the park where the shooting occurred is vital to keeping families coming downtown.

"I reared three children here and my boy, especially, played basketball with any and all that were down there," Cos Barnes said. "I'd hate for them to lose that."

"The park should be available for all," Cathy Fletcher said. "I think if we don't hold those accountable for causing the problems, that's just going to be that gathering place for things like a shooting or drug deals are going to continue to go on."

Wednesday night, neighbors suggested putting more police downtown and adding more surveillance cameras. Those ideas come with an unknown price tag.

"All these suggestions will be taken into account," said Capt. Charles Campbell, with the Southern Pines Police Department. "I don't think anything is off the table, but it will all have to go through a budget consideration."

Police say they'll now come up with a plan of action.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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