'Real Time Program' could keep offenders behind bars longer with - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

'Real Time Program' could keep offenders behind bars longer with federal charges

Source: Raycom Media Source: Raycom Media
Conway, SC -

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Cutting down on crime in your community, law enforcement in the city of Conway is teaming up with federal authorities to keep gun violence off your streets.

They're doing it through the "real time program."  Officers report to the US Attorney General's office if offenders fit certain criteria, and the push is to keep violent criminals with guns out of your community.

"Once word gets out into the community that the federal government has more of a hand in the day to day crime of the city of Conway...that is going to be a bigger deterrent factor for us," Sgt. Dale Long said. "We're going to see our calls for service for violent crime go down...we're going to see the calls for "shots fired," we're going to see all of those things start to decrease. We will see a community that's going to be able to get back out on the streets, you know, proud of their neighborhoods."

Authorities say they get numerous calls every day for crimes involving guns, and they've already sent two cases to the US Attorney General's office for review through this program.

"The people have come and said, 'we want to feel safe in our homes and on our streets, on our porch and in our communities,' and we're trying to do everything we can to make sure that happens," Long said.

Authorities believe this program could help by giving officers more tools when arresting offenders, being able to issue federal charges that would mean more time behind bars for criminals.

"We are targeting a very narrow group of folks here that are a dangerous offender, that cause the most problems in the community, cause people to be scared," Long said. "We like the initiative because it does narrowly focus on the people who are the most serious threat to our community."

A suspect has to fit certain criteria to earn those federal charges. They have to be found in possession of a gun or ammunition and from there officers will look at whether the suspect is on probation or parole or out on bond or considered a violent criminal.

If they fit any or all of those guidelines, the case could be sent to federal authorities.

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