City council to review suggestions on how to handle Charlotte’s growing violent crime rate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Violent crimes killed 107 people in Charlotte last year, which is a staggering number especially when you think about each family that is affected.

This year, city council made it a priority to find solutions and lower the city’s violent crime rate. Monday, they are expected to get recommendations on how to make it happen.

Channel 9 first reported in January that the city first formed a Safe Communities Committee that worked with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to identify four hot spots for crime in Charlotte -- West Sugar Creek at I-85, Nations Ford and Arrowood roads, Central Avenue and Sharon Amity and Beatties Ford and LaSalle.

Officials said those four areas make up about eight percent of the city’s violent crime.

The committee has the task of coming up with an action plan that will ideally involve the county, schools and the community.

Channel 9′s government reporter Joe Bruno will be at City Council Monday night and will let you know what the committee recommends, on Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. on TV 64 and 11 p.m. on Channel 9.

Charlotte City Council considering ban on dangerous coal tar sealant

Whether it’s work, school or the grocery store, you probably drive over and walk on a parking lot every day. But, there’s a concern that the sealant in that pavement could have a cancer-causing chemical and those chemicals could wash into local creeks and rivers.

So, the Charlotte City Council is looking at a major decision to hopefully keep those chemicals out of the city’s water.

It is a dangerous coal tar sealant that is used to protect parking lots from rain, but Stormwater Services started investigating the sealant after dead fish were found in waterways near SouthPark Mall and in Ballantyne.

County leaders then tested more than 100 parking lots and found that the sealants were used in nearly 80 percent of the locations.

The sealants contain harmful substances called PAH’s. Experts say once applied to pavement, the contaminants can blow into nearby homes, vaporize into the air and run off into local streams and waterways. Elevated exposure to PAH’s could be linked to an increased cancer risk, especially in children.

A ban on coal tar sealants went into effect in January in the town of Matthews and a violation there can cost $5,000 a day.

Now, the city of Charlotte is considering placing a ban on the material.

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