Five Points businesses want police to be more proactive - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Five Points businesses want police to be more proactive

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It was standing room only during a community meeting at the Columbia Police Department's PACE Team Headquarters to discuss solutions to deter violence in Five Points.  

The public was asked by city leaders what they see as the problem and what could be a viable solution.

City officials and law enforcement will come back in 30 days to see what the best practices are and how they will be put into action.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said they are making progress in crime control. 

"We now have a fully funded police department, we've restored first responder budget cuts and we've cut overall crime rates including violent crimes," Benjamin said.

The community meeting was held after USC freshman Martha Childress was shot and paralyzed by a stray bullet over the weekend.

On Tuesday, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides called for better lighting and more emergency call boxes in the area.

WIS spoke with several business owners in Five Points to get their take on the call for action from President Pastides. 

They say they understand his reaction to the recent violence and they say a gang task force is needed in the Five Points area Thursday through Sunday evening. 

Business owners also say they need police to be more proactive than reactive.

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