CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she will focus on building a coalition to combat the Queen City’s homicide and violent crime problem in 2020. She made the announcement as she was sworn-in for her second term as mayor.
“The biggest thing about this are what are people thinking. How does this impact their neighborhoods and their ability to feel like they’re safe,” Lyles said.
Lyles said that starting in January, she will ask city council to review the city’s 2019 homicide cases to identify the communities most impacted by violence and to develop social programs to help mitigate those problems.
She noted that other cities have identified trends among youth offenders that make it easier to predict whether they could be involved in violent crime in the future and help them get into programs to prevent that from happening.
However, Lyles and other council members noted that the city is somewhat limited in how much it can accomplish without the help of other agencies.
“It’s time for us to start looking a little more intensely outward, beyond just CMPD,” Councilman Tariq Bokhari said.
Newly sworn-in councilman Malcolm Graham declared that the homicide problem a public health crisis.
“We have to work with our county partners, the health department obviously the DA, the Sheriff all of us has to work together,” Graham said.
Lyles said she wants to work with the county and courts to develop evidence-based programs to help curb the violent crime problem. Lyles also focused her comments on improving public transportation in Charlotte.
She said the city needs to develop a transportation plan, including housing and economic opportunity for the east and west sides. She says she will appoint a citizen committee on transportation infrastructure and funding to focus on the strategic issue.
Three new council members were also sworn-in during the ceremony. Malcolm Graham, Victoria Watlington and Renee’ Johnson took their seat on the council replacing Justin Harlow,LaWana Mayfield and Greg Phipps, respectively.