As gun violence continues to plague Durham, I am calling on the community to step in and help us prevent it. Now is the time to become change agents. As I travel across Durham County – be it speaking before a medical group treating victims for resulting physical and mental trauma, attending the riveting play at Hillside High School (“State of Urgency”), or being approached by a local citizen asking what we in law enforcement are doing – there are things we can all do.
Durham is a resource rich community. We need everyone’s help to fix social issues before they become criminal ones. Education is key. That’s why the Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Durham Public Schools to bring back “State of Urgency” – a play casted by Hillside High School students who share their stories on social justice issues such as police brutality, racism, discrimination, poverty and yes, sadly, gun violence.
As your Sheriff, I want to hear from all of you to help us. Together, we are One Community, One Durham. If you see something, say something. We are stronger when we work together. I cannot think of any other topic that is more important.
As a community, we need to value what’s really happening in our neighborhoods, in our homes and also in our classrooms. While we are being challenged, I know the unique spirit of Durham that makes us good can result in something great.
Clarence F. Birkhead
Durham County Sheriff
Clarence Birkhead served as the Chief of Police for the Duke University Public Safety Department from 1998 to 2005.
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