Look Ahead Cumberland: A Glimpse From Fayetteville City Council Meeting - Carolina Public Press

Look Ahead Cumberland: A Glimpse From Fayetteville City Council Meeting – Carolina Public Press

The Fayetteville City Council will reconvene on Monday for its regular meeting. On the program, two important decisions to be made:

(1) A request to reconsider a contract with ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection service.

(2) The creation of a new downtown social district, a designated area where alcohol can be purchased from an approved ABC license and then taken outside.


At a council meeting in August, the mayor Mitch Colvin and board member Kathy Jensen said ShotSpotter was a technology that would help reduce crime in Fayetteville. Violent crime in the city had increased over the past year and was among the highest rates in North Carolina, the CPP reported in March.

ShotSpotter is a gunshot detection system. The company uses acoustic sensors, which are placed in a 3 square mile area, which use artificial intelligence to detect and report gunshots to local police. The ShotSpotter website says that with the technology, police can respond to gunshots in less than a minute.

The city has not yet determined where the spoke will be in Fayetteville.

Other cities in eastern North Carolina are using ShotSpotter’s technology, such as Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Greenville and Wilmington, the Associated Press reported. Durham and Winston-Salem have approved contracts with the company, according to reports from CBS17 and WXII12.

The one-year, $197,500 contract, secured on Monday’s meeting agenda, with ShotSpotter was initially approved by the Fayetteville City Council in August, despite concerns from council members about the technology efficiency. Mario Benavente and Shakeyla Ingramreported Carolina Public Press.

In September, amid appeals from Benavente and other council members, the city council reconsidered the city’s contract with ShotSpotter. That vote was tied 5 to 5, giving the city no firm direction, the CPP reported.

At tonight’s meeting, the board will review the contract again in the hope of reaching a majority agreement. One of three things could happen.

(1) If the contract is approved, the city will proceed with the services of ShotSpotter.

(2) If the contract is not approved, the city will not spend the $197,500 and no ShotSpotter gunshot detection services will be used in Fayetteville.

(3) In the event of a new equality of votes, the municipal council will have to decide on the fate of the contract at a subsequent meeting. There is no concrete deadline for contract approval.

Although there is no public hearing on this decision, members of the community can share their thoughts on ShotSpotter by registering to speak at Monday’s public forum here.

Social Quarter Public Hearing

During its meeting this evening, the municipal council is holding a public hearing before deciding on the creation of a new social district for downtown Fayetteville.

Other cities in North Carolina have their own social neighborhoods such as Raleigh and Charlotte. Durham and Greensboro have also designated outdoor drinking areas, according to reports from Spectrum News 1. Social districts are possible in North Carolina because the state legislature passed HB 890 last year.

When Raleigh created its own Social Neighborhood in August, city leaders earlier said, as reported on the city’s website, that Social Neighborhoods are “a valuable tool for increasing economic activity and vibrancy.” in city centers.

A social district is a state-defined outdoor area where people can drink alcoholic beverages outside of participating restaurants and bars. Outdoor space is limited to a specific boundary.

Fayetteville’s boundary would extend from Winslow Street to the intersection of Otis F. Jones Parkway and Bow Street. The area is centered near the main downtown business district, aligning Hay Street and Person Street.

Drinks must be consumed from a specific social neighborhood mug that participating restaurants and bars will provide. Beverages cannot be transported to another location that serves alcohol. All retail establishments must approve the transport of beverages inside their establishment.

Participating bars and restaurants in downtown Fayetteville would include Bright Light Brewing Co., Antonella’s Italian Ristorante and Gaston Brewing Co., among others.

According to the ordinance drafted by Fayetteville city staff, the downtown social district would operate Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Click here to register for the public hearing.

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