CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents and board members alike are sounding the alarm about an increased level of criminal activity at Joseph Floyd Manor.
“I do not feel safe. I do not feel safe at all,” said Janie Hall, one of the tenants at Joseph Floyd Manor. “I have seen a lot of dealers coming in and out of here. They make deals in the halls, on the elevator, outside, they don’t care where they do it.”
Hall says when she moved in earlier this year, she had no idea witnessing drug deals would be commonplace. She says drugs bring in the possibility of other crimes.
“I stress about this kind of stuff all day long. I cry because I am not used to this and I am among it,” Ray said. “I have done drugs in my life. I do not want to be around that, and I did not know that this is what I was stepping into.”
Joseph Floyd Manor is a 70-year-old public housing structure servicing the needs of low-income seniors. It is overseen by the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Board. In recent months, the board has been trying to address the growing crime problem. Chairman Sandino Moses says it is reaching a tipping point.
“This is serious criminal activity. When we say criminal, we are not saying aggravated assault, but simply the drug dealers that are around are preying on our tenants,” Moses said. “They are preying on their drug problems that they have, and they are sneaking on our premises, sneaking off our premises and doing things in our blind spots. We need to really fix this problem.”
Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 170 calls to 911. Many of those issues for trespassing, theft and drugs. Ray said it is sad to see her neighbors preyed on by drug dealers.
“They prey on the sick and they don’t care that they are sick,” Ray said. “It’s awful.”
Moses says they have applied for a grant to get security cameras and they working with the police department to see they can’t get an officer stationed at the building.
“We are also holding our tenants responsible for participating in this type of activity,” Moses said. “At our last residential meeting we had a lieutenant with the Charleston Police Department at the meeting and that’s the type of dialog we need start campaigning for a substation in Joseph Floyd Manor.”
Both Moses and Ray agree this isn’t all on management and recognize it is the community within the walls of Joseph Floyd Manor ultimately responsible for policing their own community.
“We are supposed to be a community. We are supposed to be helping each other and looking out for each other.” Ray said. “I just don’t understand it.”
Moses says they are encouraging residents to call the police whenever they see criminal activity.
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