Johnson C. Smith University creates plan to curb violence in area surrounding campus

Johnson C. Smith University creates plan to curb violence in area surrounding campus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With homicides and violent crimes in Charlotte, there is a renewed push to stop the violence.

There is also a new effort surrounding the area on Beatties Ford Road where Johnson C. Smith University is located.

“As of late we’ve noticed crime has been rising in the area of the university,” said JCSU Campus Police Chief Jermaine Cherry. “The streets adjacent, so much so, we’ve gotten involved assisting CMPD.”

Cherry says they’ve hired more campus police officers and security guards. The department has also created a joint plan with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to keep students and faculty safe.

Changes at the university include: increase patrols in the area, Sky Tower and Mobile Camera Unit in trouble spots and addressing loitering and criminal activity in the area.

“Also expect mental health officials to be boots on the grounds talking with individuals in this area,” said Cherry.

He says it’s important for the university to be a catalyst for change in the community.

“Very important that we be involved in carving out solutions in these issues because Johnson C. Smith University is a staple within this community,” Cherry added.

While students are away from campus this semester due to the pandemic, he knows they must feel safe when they return.

“We’ve also bolstered our security infrastructure. We’ve included additional card swipe access to buildings on campus. We’ve also serviced and upgraded many of the call boxes,” he added.

Those upgrades are part of an effort to not only keep the campus safe but help to curb crime in the neighborhoods just walking distance away.

The university also says the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and local men’s and women’s shelters have all pledged their support to help the effort.

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