Police chief addresses recent violence, being proactive

Last updated: August 22. 2014 8:56AM - 340 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com

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PROSPERITY — Capt. Jimmy Richardson spoke to Prosperity Town Council members Tuesday about their plans for the future in the department.

“As a result of the shooting, we will strive as a department to be seen and highly visible in areas of concern to keep an eye on things that might be brewing,” Richardson said about recent events in the community.

After two days of school, Richardson reported they had no traffic incidents to report.

Councilman Chad Hawkins mentioned to Richardson that he had heard from owners of the ABC stores in Prosperity that there had been an increase in sales around the time of the block party that led to a deadly shooting. The owners also mentioned there was talk within their stores mentioning a block party.

“Do we have a connection with the stores enough for them to feel comfortable letting us know these things in the future?” Hawkins asked Richardson.

“We can make that connection,” Richardson told council.

Councilmen Allen Gallman encouraged residents that if they heard unruly noise outside to contact police to help prevent other incidents.

Mayor Derek Underwood mentioned that the Town of Prosperity has a youth protection ordinance that was established in February 2004 that states youth 17 years old and younger cannot be out past midnight or they can be stopped, picked up or questioned by police.

Underwood also mentioned he was a speaker at Kingdom South Church’s Stop the Violence event. While there, Underwood said people were concerned they did not know who members of the town’s council were or those in the police department.

Underwood suggested a flier be put together with photos of each individual that could be posted on Facebook as well as given to pastors of local churches to place on their bulletin boards. That would help put faces with names of town figures.

“I think it’s a good way to be proactive,” Underwood said.

New business

• Several years ago, property in front of town hall and behind the town’s ball field was cleared for possible development but other projects like sidewalks and sewer upgrades took priority, Underwood said.

The property, Underwood said, had potential for walking tracks, intramural fields or the like. He suggested council start looking at grants to use that property.

Town Attorney Henry Bufkin suggested council take previous aerial photographs and lay out potential ideas to see what might fit in the cleared property before too much money was spent.

Underwood said they would get development estimates so they’ll have a ballpark figure to put down in a grant proposal for the property.

• Gallman said McKeva-Kinard Shelton along with her mother, Mary Harmon were interested in making up part of Prosperity’s Christmas parade committee. Livingston said she also knew of a person who might want to be included.

Underwood said some money was left from last year due to the parade being cancelled that they might could divide between the committee of six to eight members for the work it would take to put the parade together.

Livingston said they would work on setting up a time for interested parties to meet.

Old business

• Council voted on first reading to amend the town’s dog leash policy on town properties and parks to state the town could designate areas for dogs to “play” at a later date. The ordinance means all dogs being walked around town or on town property must be leashed. The park areas have signs posted stating no dogs, children at play.

“This is to protect children and parents but also to protect the dogs,” Underwood said. “A dog is an animal and could be triggered by something, become aggressive or dart into traffic. Having no leash to control is irresponsible and the town has cleaned up our ordinance to clarify that a leash or tether is the only way to have complete control over your pet.”

• Tim Savage, a partner of Bufkin Law Firm, said he had submitted a proposal to First Community Bank concerning the town’s gateway sign. The bank requested the town pay for their attorney to review the agreement.

Savage said they had given the bank full veto rights on the design because they did not want the decision to be one-sided. No decision was made Tuesday.

Committee reports

• Councilman Mike Hawkins reported there had been good news at the most recent Business Association meeting where the building next to Bower’s BP station in Prosperity had been rented. He also mentioned that the flag shop and tanning location on Main Street was no longer in business.

• Gallman reported that the Dixie Youth coaches and players did a fantastic job and that he hoped they continued to do so in the future.

• Town Administrator Karen Livingston said Prosperity will hold its annual Spooktacular event from 5:30 p.m. to around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. Oct. 31. Although Mid-Carolina High plays away that night, Newberry and Whitmire high schools will play at home. The date is also the same night as Grace Lutheran Church’s Trunk-or-Treat event, with which the town usually partners.

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