DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The City of Darlington called an emergency meeting Monday night after multiple pieces of equipment were taken from the police department this weekend.
City leaders say the items have not been found, but SLED is working alongside the Darlington Police Department.
Monday, the council met in executive session to discuss ways to increase security and upgrade both the department and city hall.
Police Chief Danny Watson said the emergency meeting was about getting results and making changes.
“It is not a time to cast blame on who could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. It’s about taking care of business and getting results and that’s what we’re gonna do, “said Chief Watson. “Someone came in my house and took our stuff. And these are items that we use to help protect the citizens of Darlington and it is very upsetting.”
Chief Watson said he is looking forward to security upgrades at the building. A new camera system is already set to be installed next week but new locks and coded doors are also in the works.
However, he said it will be tough to make improvements because of the age of the building.
“It’s going to be a difficult process. The building itself is made out of block,” added Chief Watson. “Everything you do here, you have to drill through reinforced concrete. It’s going to be difficult to put cameras up or a pass-code system in.”
Chief Watson has reached out to some other local agencies including the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department.
Below is the full statement issued by the City of Darlington:
“Over the weekend, persons removed multiple pieces of equipment from the Darlington Police Department. A complete inventory of the locker will be done once evidence has been collected from that location. Stolen items have not been recovered.
DPD with the assistance of SLED are investigating the incident. This is a joint, ongoing operation with our counterparts at SLED. Should that change in some meaningful way, we will release it as soon as it is practical.
Security improvements to the 1963 building have been in the works, including a camera system that will be installed on July 10. Part of the City’s general obligation bond passed in November 2016 was slated to cover some of the security upgrades for the department and City Hall in general.
Additional cameras are being added to the security plan as well as new locks, coded doors, and reinforced doors for the entire structure.
Because of the age of the building and its construction, this is a difficult process with multiple issues that will need to be addressed. This has never happened before in the city’s history. It is upsetting and sobering when you realize that even public buildings are vulnerable to this type of crime. We are stalwart in our commitment to resolve this and bring the culprits to justice. “