Spartanburg Police Chief speaks on 2022 crime trends in city

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:10 AM EST
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson says that violent and property crimes in the city are continuing to trend down.

“We’ve had, just had the safest 10-year track that we’ve had in a long time. And that’s a testament to our entire community,” Thompson said.

While the 2022 Crime Stats Review for the city of Spartanburg is encouraging in parts, there are also some concerning parts for Thompson, including the ongoing opioid crisis, homelessness, and the number of guns stolen out of vehicles.

In 2022, people reported 130 firearms stolen to the police department, and 78 of those were taken from a vehicle. 63 of the 78 vehicle thefts showed no signs of force.

“The gun piece of it is irresponsibility, irresponsibility of gun owners. We have to be more responsible in that respect,” said Thompson.

The number of drug overdoses in the city and the amount of Narcan used by officers has skyrocketed over the last couple of years.

“The opioid problem is significant here in the city, and oftentimes it starts with prescription drugs, but then it eventually flows into your heroin, your cocaine, you know that type of thing. The fentanyl, which is extremely deadly,” explained Thompson.

In 2023, the department hopes to continue partnerships to impact mental health and reduce drug use and homelessness.

“We need to align our different resources together and use that synergy to address the issue more holistically than giving that piece of food or that dollar bill or two,” Thompson said.

But the main focus is to keep Spartanburg safe and engage the community.

“Relationships matter. Relationships turn into partnerships that can really make an impact and have a difference in our community,” said Chief Thompson.