By Paul Gable
Horry County Public Safety Committee Chairman Al Allen appointed a special sub-committee to study ways to reduce violence in Horry County communities.
Allen appointed the committee after a presentation to the Public Safety Committee by local community activist Bennie Swans.
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 presentation was essentially the same as the one that drew such a negative response from Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes last week.
Allen, longtime Public Safety Committee chairman for Horry County Council, was much more receptive to Swans’ request and eager to attempt something new to bring citizens to forums where problems and solutions can be discussed openly.
Allen appointed District 3 council member Jimmy Washington as chairman and District 1 school board member Holly Heniford as co-chair. Allen asked for a representative from Horry County Police Department and a representative from J. Reuben Long Detention Center to be included on the sub-committee as well as members of the public.
The sub-committee will schedule and hold a series of public forums throughout the county over the next three months. It will compile a report for presentation to the Public Safety Committee in June 2016. The report will highlight the findings and suggestions to help curb violence in the neighborhoods as well as recommendations for youth programs to help fight the problem of gangs in the community.