In the week following the tragic murder of UNC professor Feng Liu, Chapel Hill citizens have voiced their concerns about their safety within the community.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck about this past week, and how it has affected the Chapel Hill area.

“It’s been a very difficult, challenging week to be able to balance the needs of our community following the violent crimes that occurred, but also learning how to and remembering to celebrate great events with a community that has been fighting so hard for them,” said Mayor Kleinschmidt.

He says that the people of Chapel Hill want to be reminded that this is a safe community and that need that guidance when things seem so uncertain when it comes to their well-being. He says he spoke with the UNC chancellor and affirmed their goal for public safety. He assured that he and the police departments have heard the concerns from citizens and have been surveying neighborhoods that were affected by the attack and working to provide a feeling of security.

“People need to know that we understood that, and our police department did and were there immediately,” says Mayor Kleinschmidt. “The response to this crime actually happened very, very quickly. Now we’re working with our police department and our crisis units, which we have one of the best in the country as part of our police department as well as getting expertise from our local school system to talk to families about how to deal with violent crime that occurs like this in their neighborhood.”

Mayor Kleinschmidt says he has also heard from people outside the neighborhoods asking what plans to be done. He says that now is the time that the police needs to process the information and figure out what to do next.

“I think we need to step back and give them the time to do the processing,” suggested Mayor Kleinschmidt. “We are there helping them process, and so I think many others in the community really need to take a deep breath and let them handle what happened in their neighborhood.”

He also encourages that everyone participates in the national Neighborhood Night Out on August 5 from 6 to 8 pm, in which residents in neighborhoods throughout Chapel Hill as well as across the country are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.

For more information on Neighborhood Night Out, click here.