Eau Claire residents discuss lost faith in law enforcement - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Eau Claire residents discuss lost faith in law enforcement

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The Eau Claire Community met Tuesday night with several law enforcement agencies and city leaders to figure out how they can all work together to better solve crime in the area.

"I have heard this before," said one Eau Claire resident whose home has been broken into several times. "But the reason I came out and I'm going to be honest -- they put so much emphasis on this meeting because of what happened in Five Points. I am Five Points. I am a victim. I may not have the bruises on the outside, but I have the bruises on the inside."

"They kicked in my door, stole my television, my clothes, my laptop. I'm losing faith in them. I'm losing faith."

Law enforcement and neighborhood officials hope Tuesday night's meeting was one step toward restoring the lost trust.

"There are meetings after meetings," said Eau Claire Community Council member Reggie McKnight. "Rome wasn't built in a day and we aren't going to safely protect our community in a day."

Columbia Police, the Richland County Sheriff's Department, and Columbia City Council members all met to talk about what is and is not working on the streets of North Columbia. A big concern is the security cameras.

"I cannot express how much those cameras help," said Capt. W.J. Kelly with CPD. "We are very grateful."

But it's not just the cameras, and it's not just the law enforcement it's the community working together. Other suggestions included stepped up foot patrols, cameras and neighborhood crime watches.

"We're looking at other tools in the toolbox that would be more effective," said City Councilmember Tameika Isaac-Devine.

Officials hope those tools will include more cops and better technology.

In the end, residents continue to hope that the crime problems plaguing the neighborhood can be solved, but they know it won't happen overnight.

"What are you going to do to help? I'm not saying you have to put on your Superman cape on or be Batman and Robin, but ease my mind some kind of way," said one resident.

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