Holly Springs has repeatedly appeared at or near the top of safest town in North Carolina rankings.
Most recently, our town was tops in the Triangle and third statewide in Home Security Advisor’s 2019 Guide to N.C.’s 50 Safest Cities for populations of at least 10,000.
“It’s just recognition of what we already knew,” says Police Chief John Herring. “We knew we live in a safe community. We knew we live in a safe part of the county.”
For Herring, safest city lists bring to mind another set of numbers.
“Can 62 officers create a safe environment for nearly 40,000 people? Not by themselves,” he maintains. “They have to do it in partnership with the community.”
That’s why the Police Department places so much value in outreach.
Police want residents to call when they see something suspicious.
Assigning resource officers to all schools helps build trust with students starting in elementary school.
“It may not be something you can measure over a short period of time,” Herring said.
The value of the long view was quantified recently in the heartfelt outpouring of appreciation for Sgt. Rick Leach when he retired as long-time School Resource Officer team supervisor.
The Town’s investment in police pay, training and facilities has enabled the department to recruit officers with in-creasing levels of education and experience. Staffing levels enable the Police Department to be proactive instead of merely responding to calls.
On average, new hires have three years of college and more than nine years of professional experience.
Herring said the concept of community policing touches on the entire force and not just the outreach team.
“Contrary to what some people may think,” he said, “we actually like that stuff.”