CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Stephanie Huneycutt has lived in her house in Charlotte's Farm Pond neighborhood since Jimmy Carter was in office and gas was well a lot cheaper.
"Things have really changed," Huneycutt said with a smile, as she continued to work on the garden in her front yard. "Sometimes people just drive by and stop and say we love your garden, and some of them I don't even know who they are."
But Huneycutt knows almost everyone on her street and many people in her community, mostly because she always out tending to her garden. "I love to be outside. I can spend hours out here," she said. Huneycutt said that over the years she has seen a lot change in this part of Charlotte's east side, including crime.
"We've had some tough days," she said. “Last weekend there were all these police cars and K-9's and I didn't know what was going on."
It was a shooting. Police have just made an arrest in that case, but when headlines like that make the news, people in other areas of Charlotte may think this is one of the more dangerous places in the city. But police said that may not be true.
Overall crime in the Hickory Grove division of Charlotte is down 26 percent, but violent crime like armed robberies have seen a spike recently of about 8 percent.
The department said that it's not as bad as the numbers seem to be, pointing to the fact that most of the crimes are done by a small group of criminals. Just 11 more violent crimes can cause a spike in the numbers, as is the case in this area. Police say by catching those responsible for one crime it could solve several crimes. Like the recent arrest of Mossua Moctor Diallo, 31, for several robberies including in the Hickory Grove division.
"Getting one predator off the streets can really reduce the percentage," said Lt. J.D. Thomas of the Hickory Grove Division. "While they may commit the crime, we're solving them and arresting them, and that stops them from committing the future crimes."
Thomas said his division also plans on adding more technology to the battle against crime. This includes surveillance cameras in high crime areas near places like strip malls and shopping centers, and deploring the Shot Spotter system, which is already being used in other neighborhood. The Shot Spotter helps police better pinpoint where shots are fired. It helps give dispatchers a better idea of
where to send officers. It can even let officers know if a rifle or gun was used.
"The best tool the system gives us is a faster response time," said Thomas.