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Fayetteville mayoral candidates take similar stances on crime

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Mayoral candidates Val Applewhite and Nat Robertson are taking similar stances on how to reduce crime in Fayetteville. Mayoral candidates Val Applewhite and Nat Robertson are taking similar stances on how to reduce crime in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

With the homicide rate on the rise, Fayetteville's mayoral candidates are taking similar stances on how to reduce crime. 

Voters will choose a new mayor on Tuesday. Democratic City Councilor Val Applewhite and Republican Nat Robertson are running to replace four-term incumbent Tony Chavonne, who is not running for re-election.

Twenty-five people have been killed on the streets of Fayetteville in the first 10 months of 2013. That's up from 22 killed in all of last year.

"We have to deal with the social issues. We cannot ignore that," Applewhite said.

The Democrat pointed to a lack of jobs and a lack of community engagement for those higher crime numbers.

"People won't be out committing crime if they have an investment in the community and an opportunity to provide for themselves," she said. "We have to take ownership of our communities or neighborhoods, and look out for our neighbors."

It's a sentiment her opponent shares.

"A lot of the crime issues could be around economic issues," Robertson said.

Robertson said the city needs more jobs and both candidates agree that Fayetteville's new police chief, Harold Medlock, is the right man to turn things around. He's been on the job since February.

"Chief Medlock has put some programs in place, including the community policing, and some other things that he is doing -- pretty out of the box," Robertson said.

Medlock said he's placed more officers in high crime areas.

Still, that did not stop the violence on Halloween night. Three separate shootings killed three people and wounded three more.

Medlock expressed concern about the violence during a rally against violent crime on Sunday.

"Every night I go to bed worried about what's going to happen overnight," Medlock said. "I worry about the safety of our citizens."

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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