Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Safety across the city was the topic at the Columbia Police Department Friday afternoon.
Interim Chief Ruben Santiago discussing several different options about how they plan to go about cutting down on the violence in specific areas.
The key points were increased lighting, traffic patterns, getting people in taxis quicker, and live monitoring for the Five Points cameras. Right now the cameras just record video, but Santiago says the department is looking at having someone monitor them at night so they could alert the officers patrolling of suspicious behavior.
Another security concern discussed Friday was gang activity, not just in Five Points, but all areas around the city. Santiago says there are 150 gang members from around the city in their database.
He talked about a suggestion from some city officials to have civil injunctions, which could be used to restrict gang members from entering parts of the city. If the city were to use that option, officers and local prosecutors could ask a judge to bar a known gang member from entering areas or face immediate arrest.
"The core philiosophy behind those injunctions in creating an environment that is going to be free of gangs is of course to get rid of the violence," Santiago said. "This is another innovative way that our mayor and council members is always looking to come up with. We don't need to try to reinvent the wheel. We need to come up with ways that work best practices and are going to be implemented swiftly."
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says he plans to present the civil injunction proposal to city council next month.
The press conference came nearly two weeks after 18-year-old Martha Childress, a Universit of South Carolina student, was shot in Five Points. Childress suffered a spinal injury and is currently paralyzed.
News19's Jenny Wirtzberger talked with Childress's uncle Friday, and he said she is continuing her rehab in Atlanta and is learning to maneuver in a wheelchair. He also said her chest tube just came out and she has been resting well.