Police Chief Looking at Options for Better Security

1:32 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago.
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago says his department is looking at several options as the city attempts to increase security around the city.

Santiago spoke to reporters Friday afternoon at a news conference. His remarks come in the wake of a shooting nearly two weeks ago in Five Points that wounded 18-year-old Martha Childress, a student at the University of South Carolina.

In particular, Santiago suggested the possibility of having live monitoring for the Five Points district's network of cameras. Currently, the camreas just record video, allowing that data ton be reviewed afterward if there was a crime. However, he said the department is looking at having someone view at the output of the cameras as it happens who could alert law enforcement of suspicious behavior.

Santiago said he's also considering a suggestion by some city officials of using civil injunctions to restrict gang members from entering parts of the city, including Five Points. Under that proposal, the solicitor and police could go to a judge, present evidence about a gang member, and have the judge issue an order against that person.

Santiago did not say how it would be enforced, if it was implemented. He said his deparment's gang-task force has a database of 150 gang members that they have identified.

The chief also said the city wants to create better awareness of the cameras systems to deter crime, to increase lighting in the area, and to offer better transportation options.

USC President Dr. Harris Pastides announced this week that the university would restart shuttle service this weekend between Five Points and the campus.


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