Violence in Spartanburg brings the community together to find solution

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – One Spartanburg community is finding a way to fight the growing violence they’re seeing.

Residents from the south side of town weighed in.

Recent shootings in Spartanburg have residents speaking out about crime, and especially shootings in their community.

“We had one here, one homicide and a couple of other shootings right here in their neighborhood where a 17 year old was shot in the back of the head. That’s concerning for everybody,” Highland Community Outreach Advocate Wilma Moore said.

Law enforcement admits crime in July in Spartanburg was unusually high, with multiple shootings. However, officials say the crime numbers have not increased.

“We encourage people to call the crime tip line, our neighbors have been calling the crime tip line more when they’re seeing stuff, like I say, the crime statistics have dropped significantly,” Moore said.

This past weekend, Highland residents called an emergency community meeting to talk about the reason for the violence, like missing fathers, unemployment and lack of support for the family unit. They also talked about possible solutions.

“I feel like the residents of Highland are ready to take their neighborhood back. We are getting a lot more community engagement than we have gotten before. People are taking responsibility for their neighborhoods and not just looking the other way anymore,” Moore said.

Community members along with law enforcement encourage people to be proactive by calling the police when they see something unusual.

“People who live in the community, they are aware of what happened. Even sometimes the victims, they know what happened or they know who’s involved and we’re not getting that information,” Major Art Littlejohn with the City of Spartanburg Police Department said.

For law enforcement, working with the community is the best recipe.

“We will continue to try to build those partnerships with the community where they trust us and we trust them. Building those partnerships allows us to prevent crime starting out. They may hear something that we may not know about. So when they hear it first hand or they hear it before hand and they contact us, many times we can prevent those crimes from occurring in the first place,” Littlejohn said.

Law Enforcement says, when calling police about suspicious activity, just tell the dispatcher you’re with neighborhood watch and they won’t ask for your name.

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