Lake City police chief implementing new initiatives, addressing plans to reduce crime

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:59 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 11:16 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Lake City Police Department is in the middle of a lengthy investigation, which has led to dozens of arrests.

Police Chief Joseph Cooper said it’s part of his plan to make the city safer.

“We have been going out and actually talking to the community like we are supposed to and actually soliciting anything of substance that we can based on the incidents that have happened,” said Cooper.

Lake City Police detectives arrested seven individuals in relation to shootings incidents that span several months. The ongoing investigation has resulted in a number of firearms being recovered. There have also been over 100 arrest warrants served in the investigation so far.

RELATED COVERAGE | Police: Teens, adults charged in Lake City shootings after investigation

“We have collected evidence dealing with guns that have been discharged or discarded while someone is running,” Cooper said.

The department said there have been nearly 60 attempted murder charges filed in connection to the investigation.

One Lake City resident who did not want to be identified told WMBF News her home was hit by bullets on Monday night.

“I had to get down, me and my baby had to get on the floor and once I went downstairs I had bullet holes in my window,” said the woman.

Thankfully, she and her two-year-old son were not hurt. She added she did not feel her home was the intended target.

Some of the teens arrested in the ongoing investigation do not have criminal records, which is why Cooper wants to continue with programs and implement new ones aimed at youth crime prevention.

“It’s kind of hard because most of the individuals who are engaging in criminal activity are young. We have no comparison to what they’re doing because we have nothing to gauge it on,” said Cooper.

One of the ways the department and city officials want to steer teens away from gun and criminal activity is through the police explorer program, which will launch in June.