The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 2nd

Chapel Hill police hear community input

CLARIFICATION (5:08 p.m., Feb. 12, 2010): An earlier headline on this story made it appear that UNC representatives were not present at any of the police department's community meetings, but two more remain that University representatives could attend.

The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking community feedback to improve its services, but the crowd Tuesday did not include representation from the University.

In the second of four community feedback sessions, only a handful of people attended to give perspectives on law enforcement in Chapel Hill.

Bob Overton, assistant chief of police, said they invited University representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students and Student Body President Jasmin Jones, but none attended.

Some citizen responses included a complaint that students at the University should be punished more often for having large parties in residential communities.

Others said it would be beneficial for the department to get involved with freshman orientation at the University so the department can inform new students more efficiently.

Of the total attendance, each member who gave feedback was a resident of Chapel Hill.

Assistant police chief for administration Chris Blue said the department’s target audience is not just residents of Chapel Hill.

The town police department would like to hear from many different groups in the community, including students and store owners, Blue said.

“Everyone has information that they would like to give, and it comes from all different kinds of perspectives,” Overton said Tuesday.

The Chapel Hill Police Department is hosting feedback sessions that are run by independent facilitators to withdraw information from members of the community.

The department wants to figure out how it can improve in a neutral forum for feedback, Overton said.

“The idea is we want folks to feel safe in an environment,” he said. “We recognize that people will not always speak comfortably with us standing there.”

Members of the media present were asked to keep the attendees anonymous to maintain a safe environment for feedback.

When asked the first thing that comes to mind when they think of the department, residents said police were competent, professional and helpful, but undertrained in serving the special needs community.

The next feedback session is on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church. The final session is on Feb. 18.

Contact the City Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2022 Year in Review

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive