HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Nearly five months ago, Horry County Police vowed to tackle one community's raging drug problem head-on.
And now, officers say they're finally making progress in taking some of the county's most common drugs off the streets of Bucksport.
Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman for Horry County Police, says since the department has started focusing more patrols in the area, they've cracked 19 drug cases. In some cases, officers have seized a sizeable amount of marijuana and crack cocaine.
People living in the area have noticed, too.
"I see [officers] coming down the road a lot. The ones that are out here are doing a great job with it," Paul Kerber, who was attending a summer camp in the area Tuesday, said.
Cracking down on drug activity will ultimately have a much larger impact not only in the community, but across the county, as well. Kegler says often times drug activity is connected to petty crimes that affect you in your community, such as robberies, car break-ins and prostitution.
"If they just concentrate on the drugs, everything else they need to tackle will fall into line," Angelo Leary, of Horry County, said.
The department's new solution to keep you from becoming a criminal's next target is the development of a new Street Crimes Unit. Right now, the county is in the process of organizing the team and brining in officers to tackle the county's smaller crimes head-on.
"When we see a rise in a certain type of crime, the team can go there and start working it," Kegler said.
While the new Street Crimes Unit will allow Horry County Police to have a bigger presence in area neighborhoods, what you see happening outside of your door is still their biggest help.
"If it's 3 a.m. in the morning and you're seeing drug activity, [like] cars coming in and out within minutes at a time [or] leaving at all hours of the night, call us and speak to an officer," Kegler advised.
People like Leary are happy to see police taking care of the neighborhoods they call home, and hope the county will continue to hold up their end of the bargain to keep them safe.
"Their presence – for what they're doing now – I think is mighty work," Leary said. "But they can't relax. They need to go deeper and go into it."