AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken city leaders say enough is enough when it comes to the criminal activity at Paces Run Apartments.
That’s why they are taking matters into their own hands.
Two of the three murders that have happened in the City of Aiken, within the last 24 months, have been at Paces Run Apartments and city leaders say that’s two too many.
“I’m not going to keep sending the men and women of my Department of Public Safety to be put into harms way, night after night after night.” City Manager John Klimm said. “I’m not doing that anymore. Those days are over.”
Statistics show in the last 2 years 435 calls were made to Aiken Public Safety and 135 reports were filed.
There were 10 shootings, 4 aggravated assaults and 2 murders.
But the laundry list of criminal activity is much longer.
“Murders, rapes, domestic violence, drugs, drug activity and prostitution.” Klimm said.
The violence at Paces Run Apartments is dangerous for the residents who live there and the officers who respond to the complex.
A story line Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco knows all too well.
“Officer Scotty Richardson was killed in the parking lot of Paces Run in 2011,” said Chief Barranco.
A letter addressed to the apartment complex’s management is the city’s first effort to curb the crime.
“Asking for a plan of action to be put together within 30 days and notifying him, that if we are not in receipt of an action plan to significantly reduce the level of crime in this housing development, that further action will be taken.” Klimm told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
City leaders want to work with management, but push back won’t be tolerated.
They will go as far as revoking the property’s business license.
While their approach is aggressive, Klimm says it’s for the greater good of the community.
“After this last shooting, I took it upon myself to get in my car and I drove over there and I saw a little youngster.” Klimm said. “That was probably no more than a year old. I looked at the little kid and I’m saying to myself, what is in this youngsters future? Recognizing that they are living in a place where shots are heard regularly, criminal activity is happening on a daily basis. We can’t stand for that. We can’t allow that.”
City leaders have given the owners of Paces Run Apartments until November 10, 2017, to come up with a plan of action.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.