Kernersville police cracking down on loitering at shopping center

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- A place that teens like to gather in Kernersville is now creating a danger in the community.

Kernersville police responding to fights and problems with trash. This is all happening at and around the Cook Out restaurant on South Main Street in the New Market Plaza.

“What began as local kids hanging out after high school football games has evolved into gatherings of sometimes over 100 people,” said Sgt. Dan Wemyss, with Kernersville police.

The loitering issue has grown over the past couple of years on the weekends with groups of young people gathering at Cook Out with crowds making its way to the Food Lion area parking lot.

Over the past year police responding to more than 70 calls of reckless driving, fighting, drugs and large amounts of trash.

“As the numbers have increased we started working with more and more people,” mentioned Wemyss.

Police are now working with businesses to combat the problem and meeting the problem head on.

“You're going to see a lot more of us. In a good way. We will be out there talking with the kids. In the last couple of weeks, we have already spoken with several groups of people and they have been willing to work with us,” explained Wemyss.

Since posting on Facebook about the issue Tuesday, officers have seen feedback from the community.

There are no loitering signs posted outside of Cook Out.

Police say Cook Out has also been helping with clean-up and SRO officers are in schools to help steer kids in a direction as well.​