New cameras are helping to reduce crime in Coward - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New cameras reduce crime in Coward

In total $8,500 was spent on the surveillance system; the county gave the town $7,500 to help with the cost. | Source: WMBF News In total $8,500 was spent on the surveillance system; the county gave the town $7,500 to help with the cost. | Source: WMBF News

COWARD, SC (WMBF) - The Town of Coward is reporting a lower crime rate after a new surveillance system was installed to watch over the town.

Town officials say vandalism can no longer be seen at the park and baseball fields. It's only been a couple of months since new cameras were installed, but officers are already seeing a big difference with the extra eyes in the sky.

In February, Coward Mayor Dianne Thomas asked Florence County Council to purchase a surveillance system because public property was being vandalized.

"Our park was being vandalized, the bathrooms, at our ballpark where all of our children go and play ball; the concession stand was broken into several times there," Mayor Thomas said.

Mayor Thomas said in some instances cash was stolen and tax revenue from the town had to be used to make repairs from damages the vandals caused.

In total, $8,500 was spent on the surveillance system; the county gave the town $7,500 to help with the cost.

"You can ride around and see that we put the money to work. Now you can't view the camera system, but it's in there and it's working like it is supposed to," Thomas said.

For security reasons, our cameras were not allowed to show the exact locations of the new security cameras.

"This area, right here, is where the two collisions occurred," Coward Police Chief Michael King said.

At the Coward Police Station, the cameras are helping to replace the need for more man power.

Recently, two car accidents happened along Highway 52, which is one of the busiest roads in Florence County.

That new system showed officers who was at fault, helping them to resolve any disputes.

"So we are able to monitor the traffic flow and send our assets to any area that we find congestion," King said.

The state-of-the-art surveillance system is constantly watching Coward, day and night, and officers said what is caught on camera at any given moment if needed could be used as evidence to help catch criminals.

"Well, we're able to access the cameras from various locations and between relaying that information to another officer and getting on it in real time or if we have to go back and file for a warrant using the video footage as evidence," King said.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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