FOREST ACRES, S.C. — The city of Forest Acres held their first virtual meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday evening. They discussed what's next for the city.
Effective immediately, council decided to close the parks. This follows Governor Henry McMaster's order from Tuesday. They expect to post signs later in the week.
As for law enforcement, they are taking precautions when it comes to calls. They've also asked DHEC for more information on cases, so that they can be better prepared when out in the community.
However, Police Chief Marion Sealy explained that it's been pretty quiet.
"As far as crime in the city, it actually hasn't been that bad," says Chief Sealy. "We looked at this year versus last year. So this year crime is actually down a good bit."
The low crime numbers are the reason why council decided not to go forward with a curfew.
"The city of Columbia passed a curfew and I understand, back in 2015 during the flood, Forest Acres did have a curfew at that time," says Councilman Thomas Andrews. "I talked a little bit with the chief, but it sounds like right now crime is not an issue. Curfews are a potential tool and if we see a spike in any crimes, this is something we can use in the future if it's necessary."
Despite not implementing a curfew, council does plan to send a resolution to Governor McMaster, urging him to impose a statewide stay-at-home order.
"I think his order yesterday, creating a list of non essentials, really gives a lot of leeway to a lot of businesses to remain open," says Mayor Frank Brunson.
Governors in nearby states, like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina have issued stay-at-home orders. Forest Acres City Council is now asking that South Carolina follow suit.