Conway Housing Authority reacts to crime

The Housing Authority is even taking it a step further by applying for $70,000 in federal funding to add surveillance cameras.
The Housing Authority is even taking it a step further by applying for $70,000 in federal funding to add surveillance cameras.

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - After three recent shootings in a Conway neighborhood, the Conway Housing Authority is trying to put a stop to the violence. Bobby Thomas lives in Huckabee Heights where a recent neighborhood watch group has formed to fight back against crime.

"This is ridiculous, all the senseless shootings..all this crime. People getting stabbed and beaten up. It is up to the community to stand up and say we don't want this anymore," demands Thomas.

Thomas adds the community needs to come together to get rid of crime.

"We cannot allow the thugs to take over our neighborhoods. This is ridiculous. I live here; this is my neighborhood now for the time being. I want it to be safe for me and my family to actually live in and walk through," he voiced.

The Conway Housing Authority is helping by hiring off-duty Conway police officers to patrol the area.

Sherry Joyner, the Executive Director of the housing authority said, "Anytime they see police cars they run...it deters the crime and I think it does help if the police presence is here and they know it."

Joyner said the organization spends almost $60,000 each budget year to pay for the extra patrols. But since some of the recent shootings have happened in the afternoon, there is talk about varying the times that patrols come around.

Conway Police Chief Reggie Gosnell said, "When these incidents are occurring is when we schedule our overtime officers to work and the ones that are scheduled to be there either do foot patrols or they have a golf cart that's provided by the housing authority so they can get out and interact with the residents."

The Housing Authority is even taking it a step further by applying for $70,000 in federal funding to add surveillance cameras. Joyner added, "It will let us know what's going on, and we can see suspicious activity ourselves and get here maybe before the trouble really starts."

Some neighbors said they were supportive of bringing in cameras to their neighborhood for safety reasons. Thomas said, "Cameras are a good idea. I feel there should be cameras in every housing development to keep crime down."

Many agree that to bring crime down it is going to take a concerted effort by neighbors to report suspicious activity. Thomas urges, "We can put a stop to it right now by just making phone calls when you see people in the area causing problems. Make a phone call to 911 and let's take a bite out of this right now before it escalates...remember that next shot could be your own."

Joyner said she will find out in September if the Housing Authority will receive the funds for the cameras.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.