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Tryon Palace reviewing security changes

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NEW BERN, Craven County - Tryon Palace leadership plans to meet with the New Bern Police Department in the near future to work on strategies for increasing security and safety around the historic site.

Over the past decade, security employees at Tryon Palace have filed at least eight police reports - everything from vandalism to hearing gun shots nearby. Most recently, security officers reported hearing a pair of gun shots in rapid succession in February during a time where visitors were on the Palace grounds.

The Palace has already instituted some changes, including adding new security cameras and changing the area where school buses make drop offs for field trips to the North Carolina History Center.

"We have lots of school groups that come here and Tryon Palace is a very large site so sometimes it's easier for them to drop off at one location versus the other," Palace spokesman Craig Ramey said. " A couple years ago we had some concerns that were raised by members of security and they worked towards developing policies so it made everyone feel as though we had a streamlined process."

Several of the incidents reported to police focus around the site's maintenance shed located in the parking lot next to Trent Court. In 2013 the shed was looted, with the burglars making off with more than $3,400 worth of equipment.

"What we see in the downtown area is a lot of property crime and that's because we have a lot of foot traffic," New Bern Police Sgt. Shelton Brown told NewsChannel 12. "It's a good cut-through for people going to work or going to the different venues downtown so we always try to encourage people to make sure they lock up their belongings, their valuables whether it's in cars or sheds."

Ramey said the Palace is raising funds through the Tryon Foundation to update and upgrade the maintenance shed to reduce the risk of future break-ins.

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