From the Desk of the Mayor and The Chief:
We’ve joined forces this month to tackle an issue that affects all of us: crime in our community, and what we all can do about it. Public Safety is working hard to catch “the bad guys,” but residents have a vital role to play.
- First, the facts. Some serious problems have developed on Folly Beach: Several incidents of drinks being doctored with substances. Some of those incidents have been followed by rapes.
- Many systematic break-ins and thefts, most (but not all) targeting rental houses during the transition from one weekly tenant to another.
- Some “new” drugs being sold on the beach – particularly crack cocaine and “bath salts.” They’re being supplied from North Charleston, which is a new development.
- Alcohol at the root of many of our crimes and emergencies. One third of our arrests involve alcohol.
As a community, we can wring our hands or we can do something about it. This is like the July 4th beach mess crisis a few years ago; we
rallied around and solved it. Here’s what you can do:
- NEVER leave your glass unattended in a bar. Don’t rely on a friend to watch it for you – you won’t know whether they’ve been distracted. It only takes an instant to doctor a drink.
- If you see someone who’s had too much to drink, don’t let them drive. Take them home, or call Public Safety and we’ll take them home if they live on Folly. As they say, don’t let your friends drive drunk.
- Keep your eyes and ears on your neighborhood. If something’s not sitting right, call Public Safety at 588-2433 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry that it’s not important – it’s important to you. If something doesn’t feel right, get professionals to look into it. You’re helping us by calling us.
- If you’re nervous about being identified, we participate in Crime Stoppers. Contact them at 554-1111, or 1-888-CRIME-SC or www.5541111.com.
- Know your neighbors better. Keep track of when they’re going to be away, or having visitors. Let them know your plans.
- Keep an eye out for drug sales. Is there a lot of traffic coming to a house for short visits? Are there strange people showing up? Let us know.
- Support your Public Safety officers. They do a tough job, and they’re human. They’re men and women, mothers and fathers, and they’ve all taken an oath to protect you. Your support and encouragement improves their morale, and your information makes their job easier.
Drunk driving scares us both. We’ve taken steps to deal with it. All our officers have recently been trained in field sobriety testing and the machinery to test blood alcohol, and we’ve made more DUI arrests in the first six months of this year than in all of 2011. And we’ve applied for a grant for a Field Sobriety Officer. If you see someone driving drunk, call us.
We also want to set up a Crime Watch program. If you can pull together 10 people in your neighborhood, call 588-2433 and we’ll send an officer to give you the do’s and don’ts.
Finally, July 4th is upon us. We need your patience and understanding – there will be long delays and the usual crowd problems. We’ll have the complete beach patrol staff on duty, and we’ll start the clean-up at 6 am July 5th.
And just remember – school starts in a month, so we’ll soon have our island back!
Tim Goodwin (843) 729-0298 email@example.com
Dennis Brown 588-7003 firstname.lastname@example.org