City leaders hold public hearing in Denmark, South Carolina on how to curb crime issues

CSRA News

DENMARK, S.C. (WJBF) — City leaders are working to figure out how to stop crime in Denmark, South Carolina. 

A public hearing took place Thursday, April 19.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Dr. Gerald Wright said the problems and issues in Denmark are known but it’s his job as well as the council to listen and say action.

“Now i’m willing to tell my grandboys to arm themselves because it’s dangerous,” Abbie Billinghurst told City Council.

Residents of Denmark, not mincing words when it comes to how they feel about crime in the city of 3,000. 

“They have to arm themselves because they can’t end up like Tyreek,” she added.

Billinghurst grandson, Tyreek, a victim of crime following an event at a local club.

“Tyreek is 26 years old his leg amputated it happened October 13 this kid is still going thru surgeries,”  she recalled.

Another incident that was brought up was the shooting death of a local basketball star two others were also injured near Coker Avenue.

“Denmark has this new thing that the kids do now and go out and shoot up in the air. What’s this game about? We don’t know,” Billinghurst shared.
But there has been a young man who told us today and spoke with my husband today and told him that he was walking down the street yesterday in broad daylight and a car went past and just started shooting at him and he just ran,” she said.

A number of suggestions were made. Most of them included time-restrictions.

“it’s just no reason running something where this kind of thing occurs and expect it not to happen again but as I said with the curfew they would not have been out at 1:30,” Caroline Boyd said.

Other suggestions included bringing a new option for the youth at an old abandoned building.  One resident envisioned a center including computer stations, tutoring options, as well as daycare if needed.

But one problem that needs a solution is not effort options for the youth in the area.

“So why not give them a job? why not give them a community obligation,” resident Deanna Miller Berry said.  “All these areas let’s develop neighborhood watches. Get the biggest badest boys and the biggest baddest girls that think they are everything and let them be in charge how to do that? you work with programs like this,” Berry added.

Lifelong resident Tony Pressley echoed the sentiment about the youth.

Mayor Wright said that it’s not going to be an instant change but it’s going to be a recognizable one by the people who live here and those who come to visit.

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