SUMMERVILLE — Violent crime is escalating in this traditionally quiet town, and residents of one neighborhood are ready to fight back.
That was the consensus Thursday night at a meeting of police and residents of the Robynwyn community, where at least two people were shot last month. About 50 residents and police officers gathered in the Doty Park community building to discuss their concerns.
“We’ve got a problem in the community with escalating crimes,” Town Councilman Aaron Brown said. “We’re here to solve those problems.”
The town will start with installing street lights that are three times brighter than existing ones, he said.
Residents also are considering putting stickers on their cars so outsiders can be spotted, and starting a Crime Watch, according to Major Bernard, a retired teacher.
Charleston Police Cpl. Fred Bowie, the local Crime Watch coordinator, urged residents to give police the information they need to solve crimes.
“You are the eyes and ears of the police department,” he said.
Bowie also noted the harsher breed of young criminals that has been plaguing the town recently.
“We have a group of people out there with little concern for your life,” he said. “They don’t care if they got shot. ... It’s going to take us a little while to turn that around.”
Summerville Police Capt. Jon Rogers also said he was concerned that criminals are becoming more blatant in Summerville, including shots fired from a car toward a house in Quail Arbor on Thursday.
“We are not going to have these shootings in broad daylight in our neighborhoods,” he said.
He said the two shootings that were reported in Brandywyn aren’t the only shootings in that neighborhood in the last month. Police recently discovered more shootings that were not reported, he said.
“We are here to help you clean up your community, but we can’t do it without you,” he said. “The only way we can help you is for you to help us.”
Rogers promised more police bike patrols and more late-night patrols in the neighborhood.
“You’re going to see a lot more police presence,” he said.
Several residents complained that police don’t interact with residents like they used to. More than one person said they wave at officers who don’t even look at them.
John Hancock, 36, was killed Oct. 3 in a drive-by shooting on Iris Street. His sister begged residents to help police solve the crime.
“My brother was unjustly murdered,” Barbara Hancock Williams said at the meeting Thursday. “I just want to see the guys who killed my brother behind bars.”
Shane Newman was wounded Oct. 21 when a man walked up to him at Myrtle Place and Shamrock Drive, asked his name and shot him in the stomach.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.