Nonprofit group addresses safety concerns in High Point

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Truist Point, the multi purpose stadium in downtown High Point, is ready to welcome back baseball and the food hall is going up next door. 

To Forward High Point Executive Director Ray Gibbs, these are signs the city is ready to move forward.

“Once we are back and running again, we will probably see the stadium used 200 to 250 days a year and also have some restaurants,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs knows that in order to keep the area busy, he has to do something he’s been doing for a while: fight the idea that downtown High Point is dangerous.

“I talk to groups and people have questions: ‘is it safe?’ I lived for a couple of years in an apartment right on Main Street. People are like: ‘Are you afraid?’ No,” Gibbs said.

According to the High Point Police Department, in 2020 a total of just six offenses happened within a thousand feet of the stadium. 

Gibbs and the Forward High Point boosters are also looking at other ways to fight off the downtown stereotype by bringing in a private company to act as ambassadors. 

The group would pick up litter and remove graffiti along with looking out for crime.

“They will also be the eyes and ears. They are not law enforcement or hard security, but if they see something, they will have a radio and call the police,” Gibbs said.

Another concern Forward High Point is getting ahead of is where to park all the cars that will come downtown.

“We know what our future demands will be…So we know what the long term demand is,” Gibbs said.

More on the street parking is a possibility. 

Gibbs added that in the next 14 to 18 months, a parking deck could be built near the multi purpose stadium. 

More lighting and streetscaping could be coming to Elm Street.

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