Greenville City Council to vote on downtown security plan - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville City Council to vote on downtown security plan

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The Liberty Bridge goes over the Reedy River in Falls Park in downtown Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina) The Liberty Bridge goes over the Reedy River in Falls Park in downtown Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville City Council members discussed security changes to the downtown area's parks and streets on Monday night.

During the hourlong meeting, council members discussed the idea of closing Falls Park at 9 p.m. but allowing the bridge to remain open all night. They also discussed adding more lighting and new security cameras.

Police are asking for eight extra police officers to patrol near the downtown businesses and 10 private security guards.

"We're at capacity for what we can accomplish, for what the police department can do," Police Chief Terri Wilfong said. "I feel comfortable saying we can't give anymore. We've got to have help."

Officials have not decided if the security guards would be armed, but said they would be hired from a trusted, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division-certified company.

Another plan is to create a park patrol of unarmed individuals who would report any suspicious activity directly to police.

The proposed changes would initially cost $1.1 million with an annual cost of $600,000 after the first year, but officials said it will not cost taxpayers more money.

The City Council will have to discuss some of the issues with county officials because the trail goes through both city and county land.

The proposed changes could be voted on as soon as next week.

The council discussed the changes only a week after a woman was assaulted while rollerblading down the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a teen riding his bike in Falls Park was attacked and other downtown crimes.

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