Inside Look As Columbia Police Patrol Five Points

11:24 PM, Nov 22, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) --  A number of high profile crimes in Five Points have grabbed the attention of law enforcement.

It's an area of Columbia where high crowd volumes can often add to the difficulty of keeping the streets around the Five Points area safe.

"When I'm in Five Points, my job is to make sure that all the logistical needs of the patrol divisions are intact," said Major Mellron Kelly of the Columbia Police Department.

Kelly and a team of law enforcement officers work to keep everyone in Five Points safe.

"What we do is allocate extra man power to the area in anticipation of the large crowds," Kelly said.

With the help of Columbia Fire Marshall's office, fire codes are enforced, and city ordinance violation checks are done.

"We want to have extra personnel out there to patrol the area, and make sure everyone is safe," Kelly said.

That includes those on foot by utilizing marked cars,unmarked cars, and police officers in plain clothes, as well, Kelly said.

Crowds are usually bigger during Gamecock home games, something Kelly said the Department works hard to prepare for, sometimes requesting assistance from the State Law Enforcement Division.

Officers from the State's Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services help as well.

"We've had several issues in the Five Points area," Kelly said. "Of course we had unfortunate shooting in the area, and we've had other instances of crimes. We wanted to make sure that this atmosphere is safe."

CPD's Gang Unit and Drug Suppression team provide backup to more than a dozen officers walking Five Points.

On a night when 32 arrests were made, and 58 charges were filed for violations ranging from marijuana possession, to alcohol and traffic violations, Kelly still admits his officers can't do everything.

"We can't be everywhere all the time," he said. "That's why the cameras are such a great asset to the Five Points area."

The Columbia Police now use live images from strategically placed cameras. The City of Columbia says the program is in its earliest stages, but Kelly said he hopes the the extra pair of eyes the system adds becomes permanent.

"The officer that's viewing the camera now, if he or she sees something that looks suspicious, he can pick up that radio and notify officers that are here," Kelly said. 

"Here, we're able to, in real time, see a crime happen, or prevent a crime from happening," he said.

 

 

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