Locksmiths say North Charleston police are taking their business

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Albert Christoper is a locksmith and is speaking up about the free service the city of North Charleston provides to citizens called "Project free entry."

The program is set up to assist those that get locked out of their vehicles free of charge.

Christoper says the service will affect more than 70 percent of his business.

"We are not authorized to go out and arrest and they should not be able to open cars," Christoper said.

Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston says the free service is only meant to help not hurt.

"We are not here to take business away, but if my wife was not able to pay a locksmith and if a police officer is available I would expect them to do it for her or any other citizen," said Mayor Summey.

"I'm quite skilled and have the latest tools and I try to treat people fair and I give them a fair price," Christopher said.

Mayor Summey says the service has always been provided to citizens and the only thing different are the new tools they use.

"It's no different than a tow truck jumping a car off but if we are available we do it but if we have calls that are more immanent than they will take priority," Summey Said.

Christoper, along with other locksmiths like Larry Spears, feel the government is stepping on their toes and their business.

"The government is once again stepping in on something they should not be doing," Spears said.

Summey says on average, the North Charleston Police Department receives 10 to 12 lock out calls per day.

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