Police in High Point Fighting Spike in Violent Crime

High Point Police Fighting Spike In Violent Crime

HIGH POINT, NC -- Police lights and crime scene tape is becoming a common sight in High Point.

Right now, police are looking for a 23-year-old man in connection to a deadly shooting that happened Sunday night on Centennial Street.

Police say 31-year-old Marcus Boyce was shot and killed.

So far this year, eight people have been killed in High Point, compared to just seven all of last year.

The crime has created concern for High Point Police Chief Kenneth Schultz.

"We've got a young society out here that doesn't care about human life," said Schultz. "They're out there willing to shoot and that's what we need to work on."

Before this year, the city of High Point was on 20 year streak of bringing crime down.

Violent crime dropped by 60 percent over the last two decades, all thanks to a community outreach program known nationally as the "High Point Model," where police work with community groups to connect with former offenders and get them back on track.

But Schultz says the model isn't working as well this year because the criminals are getting younger and younger.

"There is a lack of respect for life right now out there amongst all of our young people," said Schultz. "I've charged 16 people with murder for the year out of 8 homicides and right now and I've got three of them open that haven't been solved. So it's just going to continue to accumulate."

Police say widespread heroin use and gang activity are contributing to the spike in violent crime.

That's one of the reasons why the police department is looking to hire eight new police officers to patrol in high crime areas in an effort to deter crime before it happens.

Schultz says the police department is also planning to install alarm systems at local businesses.

However, he knows it's going to take a community-wide effort to curb the crime for good.

"Now we have to figure out how to first of all, how to identify these young guys and then figure out how to hold them accountable and deter them," said Schultz. "We're talking as young as 14. It's gotta start before it gets to my desk. It's got to start in the families and in the community."

The U.S. Marshals task force has been called in to help in the search for the suspect in Sunday night's deadly shooting.

If you have any information, contact the High Point Police Department or call CrimeStoppers at 336-889-4000.
 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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