Heavier police patrols planned for Conway area after string of shootings

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - After a string of shootings, people who live in the Conway area may see a stronger police presence on the streets.

Making patrol units more visible on the streets is one way the Horry County Police Department plans to cut down on crime.

Crime scene tape from the most recent shooting still hangs near Wayside Road, where the most recent Conway area shooting occurred Monday night. Monday's shooting was the area's fifth shooting in a month, and Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill says he has a message for these criminals.

"If you commit a crime in Horry County, expect to be arrested," warns Chief Hill.

It's a simple message, but one Chief Hill is backing up with action. After recent violence in the different Conway communities, neighbors say they're nervous in their own homes.

"I feel like I'm not safe," says Joseph Gary who lives off Beau Street where a fatal shooting occurred June 13.

The Horry County Police Department has a plan to change that mindset.

"It is finding the folks that are causing us the most problems and removing them from the community," explains Chief Hill.

Finding people who pose a threat to the Conway area is something Horry County officers have always done, but now some federal help may keep criminals behind bars longer.

"Federal partnerships come in and actually put charges on some of these criminals, and they'll go away for a very long time," states Chief Hill.

Chief Hill says, in addition, the recent reassignment of school resource officers has helped fill department vacancies and offer more patrol for neighborhoods.

"They'll see more officers out on the street, and that will ease their fear of crime," assures Chief Hill.

Ease of mind is something one neighbor says is more important than ever after a taxi cab driver was shot and killed feet from her home last month.

"Keep us safe, that's what I would like," voices Valerie Lauletta who lives off Juniper Bay Road. "To know we're safe"

Chief Hill says he doesn't think any of the recent shootings are related but confirms the suspects behind most of the crimes live within Horry County.


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