LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - It was a packed house at Life Springs Worship Center in Lexington as Red Bank residents had a Q&A with the sheriff’s department about crime in that part of Lexington County.
Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon says they count on residents to be the eyes and ears of their community because they’re the ones who know their neighborhoods best.
From drugs to gangs, to homeless squatters, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department representatives informed Red Bank residents about recent crime stats in the area and how they could work together to bring down those numbers.
“We want you to call us,” Sheriff Koon said. “We’d much rather come out at two in the morning when the car alarm’s going off and the dog’s barking and it’s nothing, than show up the next morning and take 20 car break-in reports.”
Residents were able to ask the sheriff questions directly, many focused on the homeless population and panhandlers.
“Whether I’m leaving Walmart, leaving Lowe’s, leaving Little Caesar’s, whatever…there’s someone standing in that median asking for money,” one resident said. “I thought it was illegal to panhandle.”
Representatives from the sheriff’s department say they have programs and outreaches to help the homeless in the county, but they can only help those willing to accept it.
With some concerns still lingering Sheriff Koon says he knows they have a lot of work to do as a community and he’s hoping tonight was a step forward.
“I’m excited to see this engagement because with groups like this we can transform and do things together,” he said.
Sheriff Koon says a lot of the problems these residents brought up are a product of the immense growth the county has seen over the years.
The sheriff also encouraged forming neighborhood watch groups. He had representatives from the department at tonight’s meeting who could help residents with that.