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Community Violence Subcommittee Update

By Paul Gable

The Community Violence Subcommittee was given specific goals and objectives earlier this week by Al Allen, Chairman of the Horry County Public Safety Committee.

Allen told the committee that he had been too vague when he first appointed the subcommittee and he wanted to clarify its mission.

Allen named the following six persons as committee members: council member Jimmy Washington, chairman, school board member Holly Heniford, vice chairman, Rev. George Payton, spokesperson, HCPD Chief Saundra Rhodes or designee, HC Sheriff Chief Deputy Tom Fox or designee and Van Washington, community leader.

These six members are charged with meeting once a month at the county council conference room where meetings will be broadcast, livestreamed and taped.

In addition, Allen requested subcommittee members to identify the causes and influences that lead to violence in the community as well as visit with all public, private and church groups presently operating to reduce violence and crime in Horry County to rank their effectiveness.

Allen tasked the subcommittee with making a progress report to the Public Safety Committee in September 2016 and to be prepared to present a final report with findings and recommendations to full council in early 2017.

The subcommittee evolved from a request by community activist Benny Swans to the Public Safety Committee.

Swans asked the committee to help in establishing a series of community forums open to all citizens where problems, concerns, and eyewitness accounts of violence could be heard as well as discussions about possible solutions to the growing problem of violent personal and property crimes throughout the county.

Swans stressed the high murder rates, especially among young people, that have occurred in the last several years. Swans stressed that this effort was important to help save the lives of our children.

Swans called for a collaborative, coordinated, communicative effort from all segments of the population to help solve the problem. Swans stressed that this was important to help save the lives of our children.

The Community Violence Subcommittee will hold its first regular meeting April 21, 2016 in the county council conference room.

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