Greenville City Council approved a $826,252 downtown security upgrade on Monday, with plans to hire eight new police officers to patrol the downtown area near Falls Park following a string of crimes there.
The City Council had its second and final reading on Sept. 23 to approve funds for the project.
It is part of a $1.1 million security overhaul that will bring new high definition cameras into the area and more lighting. Officials also plan to close parts of Falls Park surrounding Liberty Bridge at 9 p.m. in an effort to curb crime. Liberty Bridge will stay open, however.
"We're very happy, we're thrilled! We were hoping we would get some of the things that we asked for and we got all of them, so we're very happy for all of this," Chief Terri Wilfong said Monday.
Mayor Knox White said he is pleased with the council's decision.
"Beyond just the number of new police officers, there are also a lot of new, smarter police tactics that are going to be employed," Knox said Monday. "We do a lot of undercover work and just making sure that all downtown area is subject to people's eyes and ears."
Police hope to put the upgrades in effect soon.
"We have a pool of people that we're looking at so we're hoping to hire them within the next three to four months," said Wilfong.
The implementation of the plan will cost $550,000, and the yearly cost for 2014 will be about $582,000.
The funds that were approved does not include the cost of lights, cameras and electricity. Those items were approved in a vote back in the May budget meeting.
The mayor said parks are going to start closing at 9 p.m. and they will reopen at 5 a.m., but he said they will not start enforcing the rule until signs go up in the next two weeks.
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