City leaders say downtown is ‘safe’
Murders in Lynchburg are not common, according to City Council Member H. Cary. George Baker’s murder early last month was an exception, he said.
“(Downtown) is crime free with the exception of Mr. Baker,” Cary said. “There have been a few minor incidents, but not anything that would give you cause for your personal safety.”
Liberty alumna Robin Dimond co-owns Robin Alexander Restaurant downtown. For the first week after the Sept. 5 murder, her business declined, she said. Now, her business has picked up again.
“Downtown is safe,” Dimond said. “Lynchburg is a beautiful city.”
Both Dimond and Cary applaud the Lynchburg Police Department for monitoring the downtown business district and other parts of the city.
“The police can’t be on every street corner, but they were (at the crime scene) immediately,” Cary said.
He hopes that the recent murder is “isolated,” he said.
“I hope future events don’t prove me wrong,” Cary said.
Local groups proactively review safety concerns on a regular basis, Cary said. Senior managers of the city council, members of the police and fire departments and neighborhood watch groups meet and discuss concerns.
“That’s our way of reaching out, and it helps build rapport,” Cary said.
Near Cabel Street, a group of neighbors meet with a member of the LPD, and they talk about “trouble spots” and ways to make the area safer, Cary said.
“One of the things we did pick up on this area is that there are a number of single parent homes,” Cary said. “When kids come home from school, no one is saying, ‘Hey, do your homework.’”
Dimond hopes to give back to the city that offered her opportunities during college, she said. A native of Miami, she has chosen to stay in Lynchburg and manage two restaurants here.
“I want to raise my family here some day,” she said.
Cary feels safe bringing his family downtown, he said.
“I would not hesitate to take my kids (downtown),” Cary said. “Main Street is relatively safe.”
ZOSH is the Editor in Chief