Darlington Police Chief responds to ‘worst time ever’ comments

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – It seems easy to turn on the television and get caught up in the devastation of natural catastrophes, senseless crime and the untimely deaths of victims in mass shootings. One Pee Dee police chief, however, is making residents in his city aware of the fact that crime is considerably lower than it was a decade ago and he will work endlessly to make sure his town feels safe.

Darlington Police Chief Watson took to Facebook to address neighbors who report “this is just the worst time ever.”

While Chief Watson notes he can’t speak for other areas, he explains the City of Darlington has “improved dramatically” when it comes to violent crimes, making 2015 not such a bad time, at least when it comes to crime.

Chief Watson reports the below crime numbers from 2015 as compared to 2004.

Crime Reports of crime in 2004 Reports of crime in 2015
Rape 6 0
Agg Assault 59 28
Homicide 1 0
Robbery 17 4
Burglary 131 37
Larceny 220 171
Vehicle Theft 31 15
Arson 2 0
Theft From Vehicle 62 33
Resisting Arrest 29 8

While Chief Watson is vocal about his optimism for Darlington, he knows even as crime numbers decrease, there are still victims who desire justice for their perpetrator.

“I am not sure that we will ever be able improve as much as we have over the last decade. It is not likely we will ever have a year without any crime. I also understand to the victim of a crime that this is little comfort to them personally. This is because they are a victim and with that comes a reason to be upset without a doubt,” reasons Chief Watson.

The police chief credits technology with part of the reason for fewer resisting arrest cases and the use of appropriate weapons for fewer injuries during arrests.

“The continual use of improved technologies to include Body Camera Systems and Less Than Lethal Weapon Systems have greatly reduced the need for officers to have to physically restrain suspects,” explains Chief Watson. “The use of a Taser also has greatly reduced injuries to suspects and officers when a suspect resists when being taken into custody.”

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