Reducing Violence in Summerville

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summerville is a beautiful town known for its attractive quality of life. We continue to attract throngs of new residents as well as visitors and tourists who adore the stately southern charm, great weather, the arts and entertainment, good manners, great public schools, low taxes and a laid back, “no rush” quality of life.
However, all of this growth brings an undesirable element that has crept into certain neighborhoods and is beginning to threaten the good vision of what the town of Summerville is.
This undesirable element is “Violence.”  The town of Summerville is on the news too much lately and increasingly so, concerning incidents of violence. A resident was shot and killed by high-powered military style gunfire a few months ago in Robynwyn subdivision. There have been numerous reports of gunfire at Wassamassaw Park and other locations in that area. This month a young black male was shot by gunfire during a supposed home invasion in broad daylight!
There have been numerous burglaries and incidents of breaking and entering, why are the majority of violent crimes not solved? The residents of Robynwyn and Palmetto Park are scared out of their wits! They are afraid to tell the police what they know for fear of retaliation. The criminals and thugs have essentially taken over these neighborhoods. Are we, the residents of this great town, going to stand by idly and let this happen?
After each incident of violence I visit the neighbors and talk with them … but they all say … I'm afraid to talk! “Please don't use my name.”
What is being done?
1. The police department has increased patrols in these neighborhoods and is constantly searching for information and visiting individual homes to reassure residents and seeking information that would solve crimes but the residents are afraid to talk.
If you are a resident and have any information (even a rumor) about a crime please call the police department at (843) 875-1650. You don't have to give your name.
2. I implemented the formation of a crime watch in the last few months immediately after the John Hancock murder. This crime watch is headed by a very fine gentleman and has a wonderful group of concerned citizens. They meet the second Thursday of every month at the Doty Park building at 6:30 p.m.  If you live in the Robynwyn subdivision or Palmetto Park, please come join us. We need your help. The police department works hand in hand with this group and we are starting to see good results … but more needs to be done.
3. Crime Stoppers gave a presentation at the civic association meeting a few months ago. Call (843) 554-1111. They offer rewards up to $1,000 if info leads to a conviction. You don't have to give your name.
4. The District One Civic Association meets every first Thursday at 7 p.m. which is open to the public. Discussions include topics on improving the quality of life and crime reduction. A police officer is there to answer questions about crime reduction.
What can be done additionally?
I will request that the town of Summerville set up a police substation in the Robynwyn subdivision on the western end and hire additional bicycled police officers.
This has been done in neighboring cities like Charleston and North Charleston with great results. A continuous police presence in the neighborhood hopefully will bring the police closer to the people and thus foster a good working and reporting relationship.
Let's take back our town from the few criminals and thugs that harm our citizens, trash our town, embarrass us in the news media and reduce our property values and our tax base that provide the good town that we all brag on.
Aaron Brown Summerville Town council district one
You may contact me at 843-871-6000 abrown@summervillesc.gov

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