CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Chadbourn is holding a news conference on Monday afternoon to address violence in the Columbus County town.
According to Town Manager Jerome Chestnut, the news conference is not focusing on Saturday’s triple homicide but will talk about violent crime in general and the plan moving forward.
“Out of respect for their families and the legal process we will not discuss the events that happened this past weekend,” Chestnut said.
“Violence affects each one of us, whether it happens in your background or not, it affects everyone in the community,” said Chadbourn Mayor Phillip Britt.
Town leaders will talk about ways to improve the safety in the town, and their future.
Recommendations to submit to the governing body:
“Chadbourn is at the crossroads where our future will be defined by moments like this and how we come together,” Chestnut said.
The town manager is bringing forward several recommendations. The top priority is bringing Chadbourn’s police department up to full staff, an issue facing law enforcement agencies across the country.
“Yes there are bad law enforcement officers out there, but there are bad people in every profession. But I need officers,” Chesnut said. “My plea is to every surrounding county, every surrounding agency, if you know someone who wants to be a law enforcement officer to serve their country, to serve their community, to serve their county, tell them to go for it. I need officers. But if we do not support them they will not come. We have to support them.”
Another recommendation is to create a community crisis response team.
“To support people who are hurting the most at the time it’s needed the most,” Chestnut explained.
Chestnut is also asking for funds for a weapons buyback program to get weapons off the streets and money for a crime stoppers tip program. He is also asking Columbus County Commissioners for more funding to support small towns like Chadbourn.
No matter the solution, Chestnut says it’s going to be a community effort to enact change and the community agrees.
“I’d like to see a lot of change in it and give the police department all the help that I can so we can stop some of this violence,” resident Donald Flowers said. “We don’t need this here. This town needs to straighten up a little bit and give support to all the police department and the sheriff’s office.”
Flowers has been a Chadbourn resident for 73 years, he’s seen a lot of change and believes the efforts will turn the town in the right direction.
“They want to get control of some of these guns,” Flowers said. “That can be done. That is something that can really be done.”
The town council will meet this week to work to turn the proposals into a reality.