CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Violent crime is a growing problem in Horry County. The solicitor’s office says 31 murder charges were filed in 2015, which is the highest number in the past five years.
According to the Horry County Solicitors office the number of warrants for murder charges in the last five years are as follows:
Year – warrants for murder
2011 – 16
2012 – 28
2013 – 14
2014 – 24
2015 – 31
Leaders with the Horry County Public Safety Committee recently formed a new community violence subcommittee to address the issue. On Monday members met to outline its goal to get the whole community involved to work towards solutions.
“We want some good stuff folks. We want some meat. We want something that really means something,” said Horry County Councilman, Al Allen.
Allen said it starts with members engaging those already working towards reducing violent crime in the area.
“I want you to roll your sleeves up. I want you to go and visit them. I want you to ask questions. I want you to see them in action,” said Allen while addressing members.
Allen tasked members of the subcommittee to then rank all the programs that local government, community leaders, and private organizations have in place on their effectiveness; both positive and negative.
“We have to understand that before we know where we’re going to,” said Reverend Dr. George Payton, who has been tapped to be the spokesperson of the sub-committee.
“You can’t do this just by yourself. It takes the church, the home, and government officials working together,” said Dr. Payton.
Dr. Payton says violence effects everyone in the community and even the potential for future growth.
“What we want to do is create an environment where more people will come and therefore it takes us working together,” said Dr. Payton.
Councilman Jimmy Washington is the chairman of the sub-committee, he says while the work is just starting, “if we can save one child, it will all be worthwhile.”
Community activists have pushed to find alternatives for area youth to stay off the streets and applaud the latest efforts.
“We’re in an epidemic, and if we don’t try to find a just resolve to it, it’s going to effect all of us,” said Pastor Jerry Faulk.
Activist Bennie Swans agreed, “make sure we drill down and find the solutions that can reduce crime and violence in the neighborhoods; and I think we’ll be better because of it.”
The community violence subcommittee will present its findings to county council in September.