Violent crimes including armed robberies, home invasions, burglaries and break-ins are on the rise in Greenville. Police Chief Hassan Aden says the department has a strategic plan to decrease crime by 3 percent by the end of the year, and the plan is already in action.
Every night, there are more than 20 officers on the streets of Greenville. Lt. David Bowen says they respond to an average of a couple hundred calls a night, ranging from crashes to crimes.
The night of Lynnette's ride-along, police responded to a call for a fight at Pirates Place apartments. Bowen says, within 30 seconds, there were five police officers on the scene. "That's pretty rapid response and pretty good showing that we won't tolerate stuff going on," Bowen said.
When it comes to patrolling downtown Greenville where young people go the bars, Bowen says the police are they're for their safety.
Bowen also takes time to park his car for a few minutes in front of convenience stores, which are often targets of criminals. He'll also check in with the store clerk, looking for information that will help the officers keep the clerks safe.
Another tactic of Greenville police is random license checkpoints. The night of Lynette's ride-along, police set up one near Sterling Pointe, which has had some issues with property crimes recently. The flashing blue lights are like a warning signal to crooks to keep out.
Bowen says the long hours of the overnight shift are part of the job. "Law enforcement for a lot of people is a calling. It's just not a 8 to 5 Monday through Friday job," Bowen said.
Greenville police say they are making arrests in criminal activity and attribute that to their thorough investigations and community involvement.