From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
Wednesday, the Summerville Public Safety Commission reviewed requests about expanding the town's police department.
At the public safety committee meeting, council members said additional police cars would protect officers on duty and will ask council to approve a 20% increase in cruisers by adding 16 new cars. Council member Walter Bailey said it would take five years to pay off but noted cars will need repair in that time so it's not saving any money.
According to the spokesman for the department, Captain Jon Rogers, there are currently 86 officers total. Meaning there are less than 100 officers on rotating shifts to cover a population of 46,000 people.
The committee reviewed a request for additional officers but instead decided a better option is to increase hours for current officers to patrol specific crime areas.
In crime statistics listed on the department's web site, crime numbers have fluctuated over the past ten years while the population has been on the steady increase.
There were 1,646 arrests in 2012 which is down from 2,118 in 2003. However, the calls for help were up from 65,240 in 2003 to nearly 99,000 calls in 2012.
The crime statistics for 2013 are not yet available.
Rogers said this is not the first time the department has requested additional officers.
The request for more cruisers and additional hours for officers will go before council next Wednesday.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.