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      Mayor addresses safety concerns in Five Points

      COLUMBIA (WACH)--The recent violence in Five Points has people who live there questioning the area's safety.

      Frank Forsthoefel has lived near Five Points for 30 years.

      He and his wife are concerned about the recent violent crimes and they don't feel safe.

      "There's a lot of crime in the area, there's a spill over effect from Five Points," said Forsthoefel. "I think police ought to start covering the areas adjacent to Five Points too."

      Mayor Benjamin address community concerns at a press conference Thursday.

      He said that his main priority is protecting the people and that adding heightened security is one of several safety initiatives in place to keep the city safe.

      "Blue barricades controlling access in and out of surrounding neighborhoods so those of you who have made the decision to live downtown either in King Park University Hill, Wells Garden or Shandon can peaceably enjoy your homes" said Major Benjamin.

      During the course of the past 15 months the City of Columbia has out in place numerous safety initiatives including a juvenile curfew, increased police patrols, a hospitality division and additional surveillance cameras.

      Overall crime is down 26% compared to last year, but some residents say that's not enough.

      "It's no longer safe property values may be going down it's just a terrible situation," said Forsthoefel.

      According to the Mayor people should see an increase in police presence this weekend and especially during home games.