Could Pokemon Go be making cities in the East safer?

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There’s been a lot of attention about the dangers associated with Pokemon Go, but some police officers in the East argue the game could be making the area safer.

Sgt. Rudy Oxendine with Greenville Police said having more people playing the game on the street could decrease the likelihood of some crimes from taking place.

“In terms of natural surveillance it could actually increase the safety of the center city area,” he said.

On Monday night, players of the popular game gathered in Uptown Greenville to have fun. However, that quickly took a turn for the worse after a man approached players, eventually stabbing one of them.

Police said the incident wasn’t related to the game, but it was still scary for witnesses.

“We ran over to break up a fight, there was about 10 or 15 of us to break it up, one of the guys, Dillon ended up realizing he had been stabbed,” said Jaret Lowe, who saw everything unfold.

Despite the random incident, Lowe said he agreed with Oxendine, that having more eyes on the street could help improve safety and deter crime.

“If we weren’t here, he could’ve gotten stabbed and bled out and died,” he said.

Sgt. Oxendine said regardless of the time, people have to remain aware of their surroundings and travel in groups.

With just a month until ECU students return, players and police hope the popular game doesn’t make people easy targets for criminals.

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