Rep. Edwards to host Asheville-Buncombe anti-crime summit Friday, June 16

Press release from U.S. Congressman Chuck Edwards

Congressman Chuck Edwards (NC-11) today announced that he will be using his ability to convene to host an anti-crime summit to discuss the rates of rising crime and violence in Asheville, Buncombe County and Western North Carolina at large.

The summit will take place on Friday, June 16 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at AB Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium.

Members of the public and the media are invited.

The gathering will provide an opportunity for local, state and federal partners to come together and participate in a discussion facilitated by Congressman Edwards on the root causes of the crime spike in Asheville and Buncombe County, and how to best reduce and deter future criminal activity in our area.

“Everywhere I go in this district, I am approached by constituents imploring our leaders to do something about the lawlessness, vagrancy and public safety issues that seem to be centered on Asheville. The surging crime, homelessness and drugs are a threat to our people and our way of life here in the mountains, and are spilling over from Asheville to the surrounding areas of WNC,” said Edwards.

“So I’m doing something about it. I’m gathering together leaders and stakeholders in our area, getting them to sit down and actually talk to one another instead of at one another to define, name and find a solution to these problems before Buncombe County and WNC turn into another crime-ridden Chicago or San Francisco.

“The residents of Asheville and Buncombe County are tired of this. They deserve better. It’s past time for our local leaders to sit down together and figure this out. As the highest-ranking elected official in WNC, I am using my ability to convene to make that happen.”

The following officials and community members have been invited to participate:

  • Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer
  • Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller
  • District Attorney Todd Williams – Buncombe County
  • Asheville Police Chief David Zack
  • North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Director Bob Schurmeier
  • The Honorable Dena King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina
  • District Attorney Andrew Murray – Henderson, Transylvania and Polk Counties
  • Clay County Sheriff Mark Buchanan
  • Bill Hollingsed, Executive Director of NC Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director for the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division
  • Zach Wallace, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Helen Hyatt, Asheville Coalition for Public Safety
  • NC Rep. Caleb Rudow – Buncombe
  • NC Sen. Warren Daniel – Buncombe, McDowell and Burke Counties
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