WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department hosted a town hall meeting at West Ashley High School where they answered questions and addressed concerns in the community.
The department’s West Ashley team started the meeting with their 2018 goals which consisted of reducing crime, improving roadway safety, and the creation of a bike unit.
They gave numbers to the decrease of crimes in the area. According to police, violent crimes decreased 8.8 percent, and non-violent crimes decreased 9.5 percent.
The number of arrests went up, narcotic arrests increased by 25 percent, while firearm arrests increased by 34.8 percent.
But the biggest problem seemed to be theft from motor vehicles, many of which were unlocked and had firearms stolen out of them.
In 2019 alone, police said they’ve already had 19 car thefts, and seven firearms stolen.
During the public comments portion, people addressed everything from how to keep their homes safe to locking their car doors, but the main topic was still about safety.
Police addressed the problem with shootings in the neighborhood and easy access to guns and they hope with the community’s help they’ll be able to reduce that.
Some people came out to talk about Aubrey Zanders, the man was shot dead while he was taking the trash out at a duplex on Ashley Hall Road.
Matthew Latta and Jamie Curry were friends of Zanders. They showed up to talk about increased gun violence and to get some answers.
“I know that there has been some problems with violence in the area, and I thought that this would be a good forum to speak to some of the police as well as the community leaders and to keep my friend’s name alive so that his killers could be brought to justice,” Latta said.
Police were also concerned about the ongoing shootings in the area.
According to authorities, there were 179 crimes involving guns and 4 gun-related murders in 2018.
“When I hear about the shootings that we’re having, it’s just we need to work on that as a community,” said Charleston PD Chief Reynolds.
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