Charleston Police Using New Tactic to Clean Up Streets

By: Anna Baxter, Michael Clouse Email
By: Anna Baxter, Michael Clouse Email

UPDATE 6/2/14 @ 6:17 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The community surrounding Orchard Manor on Charleston's West Side was taken by storm Monday afternoon.

Neighbors rushed to their porches as more than a dozen police cars rolled up.

"I woke up and was like, 'drug bust up here,' " said Sarah Simmons.

Simmons lives a block down from where officers were searching.

The raid was the result of repeated complaints from the people who live there and the people who run the place.

"It's good," Simmons said. "We have a lot of kids out here and we really don't need that."

"One police car comes in and talks, it doesn't sent that much of a message," said Lt. Shawn Williams with the Charleston Police Department, "but when you send a mass of troops in, it may be a little scary at first, and we don't want to scare people. But we want to send the message that we're not going to tolerate criminal behavior."

That message has been sent repeatedly during the past six weeks with surprise raids happening every few days across town.

Police say the new tactic is working.

"It's been nearly six weeks since anyone's been shot," Charleston Police Lt. S.A. Cooper said.

Police know many violent crimes can't be predicted, but those who commit them can be controlled.

"A lot of the guys that area involved with shootings are also committing other crimes," Cooper said. "Maybe petty-type crimes, or trespassing, or they're not showing up for court."

It all represents a new effort by police, ridding residents of nuisances while protecting an entire city from harm.



ORIGINAL STORY 6/2/14 @ 1:55 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police raided another area of the city Monday and arrested three people.

Monday's raid happened about 1 p.m. at an apartment complex at Orchard Manor on the city's west side.

Charleston Police tell WSAZ.com they have received numerous complaints from neighbors and the apartment complex about people living there.

Police say Charles Taylor, 34, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for trespassing and domestic battery. Investigators say Brandon Groom, 20, and Carol Plummer, 39, were also arrested during the raid. Groom was picked up on a warrant for no operators. Plummer was charged with trespassing.

Police say they will continue to respond to complaints in the city because they want to keep the streets safe.

Last week police conducted a raid on Stuart Street and found stolen merchandise.


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