Discussion on how to stop the violence in Columbia continues
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 03:13:37 GMT —
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - Elected officials, law enforcement, and the people of Columbia came together Wednesday evening to continue the discussion on solutions to stop the violence.
Diane Wiley was among those in attendance. Wiley says she was recently threatened by a gang.
"I'm not scared," said Wiley. "I will get out here and fight for my rights."
Wiley says not only are there problems in Five Points and the Vista, but real problems are everywhere including the neighborhood where she has lived for more than 30 years. Wiley is the current president of the Belvedere community's neighborhood association.
"You're not going to take over Belvedere. This used to be a beautiful neighborhood," said Wiley.
Like many others who came out to the crime forum, Wiley used the forum to share her concerns about gangs in her neighborhood. She also says this is an issue she has discussed many times with city leaders, including Mayor Steve Benjamin.
"As a result of the events in the last month, we modified the proposal that was out to add 800 more cameras to city wide," said Mayor Steve Benjamin.
Benjamin says they've also had the proposers show them how live monitoring can help improve public safety.
Another suggestion offered up came former gang member, Shuron Malone, who says he may be able to relate to current and potential gang members. "I can relate. Everything they have did, I have done it to," said Malone. "It's just that I made the choice to stop it."
City leaders say they plan on hosting more meetings like Wednesday night's forum in the weeks to come.