CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Monday evening, Charleston Police walked through West Ashley’s 2018 crime statistics with members of the community.
At some times throughout the year, it may have seemed like there was an increase in crime, but violent crime numbers in West Ashley actually decreased by nearly nine percent.
“Yes, the numbers are great, but that’s the training we do here at the Charleston Police Department, that’s a true representation of the men and women that work for us,” said Sgt. Timothy Dasher.
However, West Ashley was recently named a high-intensity drug trafficking area.
“That’s unfortunate on the one hand that we would be designated as such, but it’s helpful because it adds resources, it adds other partners, it adds training, and other things that will help us combat some of these issues,” said Chief Luther Reynolds.
Nearly 300 cars were broken into, but entry was forced into just 33 car and 71 firearms were stolen. So far this year, 19 unsecured vehicles have been broken into and seven guns have been stolen.
“Once again, this is a problem . I know we’re in West Ashley, it should be a safe area, but we’re not back in the 1960s or 1970s. Unfortunately, no matter how safe our neighborhoods are, we have to secure our vehicles,” Dasher said.
The Bike Patrol Unit began in June focusing on the West Ashley Greenway and around the Bee’s Ferry Corridor.
“Our goal was to have officers get out, engage the community members. We spent 226 hours on the bike, we made contact with 1528 residents,” Dasher said.
Speaking of interacting with the community, the police department started attending neighborhood meetings and food truck rodeos.
“Show me a community that’s highly engaged, who shows up. Everybody here worked today, everybody’s got a lot of other commitments, everybody has a lot of other things going on, but show me a community that’s engaged, that shows up like this, and I’ll show you a healthy community,” Reynolds said.
This year, a main goal will be to further engage the community.