Durham marches to ‘take back the streets’

People in Durham took to the street Saturday to send a strong visual that they are taking back their streets from drugs and crime.

The group marches to celebrate the progress it has made and to continue the mission.

“We try to do intervention crime prevention, teach our adolescents and troubled youth the answer isn’t just in violence. Sometimes we can learn how to fight with different ammunition,” said Dennis Garrett, founder and director of the House of Love and Respect.

A Department of Justice report issued earlier this year found Durham saw a decrease in crime between 2000 and 2013.

But it still had the highest rate of crime among North Carolina cities in 2013.

Not because of an increase in crime but because of progress in those other cities.

Community activists said their work is starting to make a dent here in the neighborhood level of Durham.

The House of Love and Respect has its own stats.

Around 300 people have come through its doors and turned their lives away from drugs, alcohol, crime.

The organization puts together this annual “Take Back the Streets” event in an effort to reach even more people.

“We want to show our neighborhood that it’s not just up to the officers and the police to take our streets back. It’s up to us as individuals to say, ‘No longer,’ ” Garrett said.

This is the thirteenth year for the march.

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