Murder rate on track for sharp decline in North Charleston this year

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With only two months left in 2018, people in North Charleston are on track to see significantly less homicides this year compared to 2017.

So far this year, there have been 19 homicides in North Charleston, according to a spokesperson from the North Charleston Police Department.

In 2017, North Charleston residents saw almost twice that amount, with 36 total murders, according to NCPD.

“No one wants to live in an area where there’s a high population of crime,” North Charleston resident Cynthia Kennedy said. “So, to hear those statistics is actually great news.”

North Charleston parent Rolando Ramos said he is especially thankful to hear about the reduction in homicides.

He said high crime adds challenges to parenting.

“You know, you’re riding by with your kids, your kids want to know who’s laying there, what’s going on, and you just tell them something else,” North Charleston resident Rolando Ramos said. “Just ride on somewhere else and just try to get it off their mind.”

Many people in North Charleston said changes in policing are partially to thank for the lower murder rate.

“I see a lot more law enforcement in the streets and obviously in the communities,” Kennedy said. “They’re driving around and they’re very responsive.”

Several people said the change in policing strategies comes from new leadership.

Reggie Burgess became the chief of police for the NCPD back in January.

Since then, Burgess has participated in at least nine “Stop the Violence” organized walks, which are designed to bring the community together and discourage violence in North Charleston.

In the past, Burgess has said the walks have made a difference by inspiring community members to work with police to help reduce violence.

“Any time we have somebody in this city victimized by homicide, we as a department are going to stand up for them,” Burgess said during a walk on Monday. “It doesn’t matter who they are.”

Many people said they’re thankful to see safer neighborhoods in North Charleston, including Ramos.

“We can come out here with the kids more often,” Ramos said. “I don’t have to worry about riding by and hearing gunshots up here in North Charleston anymore. It’s great people up here.”

After several requests for almost a week to interview Chief Reggie Burgess about the decline in North Charleston’s murder rate, his Public Information Officer Spencer Pryor said he was unavailable each time.

If they do find time for that interview, we will make sure we bring you that story as well.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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