After two armed robberies in the city of Greenville, violence at some downtown businesses and shots fired on a part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the county, Greenville City, in collaboration with city officials, are taking steps to combat crime.
"There were 18 officers on the streets when the robbery happened Friday, some officers were only a block away and they responded quickly," said Police Chief Terri Wilfong.Wilfong said a couple was approached on University street and Augusta St in downtown Greenville. The area is just outside the west end business district and officials say they have a plan to make the city safer.
"Were prepared to add additional resources to make sure Greenville remains a vital community and remains a choice destination for people," said City Manager John Castile.
Wilfons said they are planning to nearly double the number of officers downtown, especially when there are big events. She said this weekend you'll see as many as 30 officers but they need the publics help too.
"Any time you see anything suspicious you need to call 9-11 immediately, " said Wilfong
She warned pedestrians to stay off the Swamp Rabbit trail when it's gets dark. She said it's best for everyone's safety. She urged people to walk in well lit areas as well.
Castile continued that a plan has been in place for months to increase safety as the city groans. He said there will be more cameras installed in areas that are heavily traveled especially after events. The cameras that the city already has will be updated to HD quality and more lighting will be installed in areas that are not as well lit.
Castile said there will be more patrols in parking garaged as well. He encourages everyone to park in those areas because they are the safety and easiest to maneuver he said.
Castile also said there will be more people on "park patrol". These people will serve as something like park rangers and watch out for suspicious activity in parks. They all report back to police, Castile said, and will be another set of eyes on the places you walk.
People downtown, especially those walking in Reedy River liked the idea. They said the more officers that are visible, the safer they feel.
" We just saw an officer up the street doing his job about 5 minutes ago. He was taking care of business so we feel good about it" said Brent Stoddard who lives in Greenville.
The business "Greenville Glides" uses the city streets every day for their business. They said the idea of more patrols on the streets they work on is a great idea.
"We have more free events than anyone in the country so we definitely have back routes we go and we take them on other sidewalks," said Matthew Diomataris with Greenville Glides.
He said more businesses will feel the same way and will find it easier to do business.