Recent incidents at Palmetto health facility concern Summerville council

The Summerville Town Council is worried about the safety of the community after several patients escaped from the Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health Facility over the past few months.

A special meeting was called Monday night at the town hall to discuss the security of the facility.

Over 25 sex offenders are housed there and 60 patients in all.

State Rep. Chris Murphy addressed the council about a tour he took of the facility. Murphy, who lives in the neighborhood next to the facility, said that he noticed a lack of security during a tour.

Murphy says he believes there have been other escapes, but they were not  reported to the authorities.

Representatives from the behavioral center declined to comment.

Last month several teens escaped from the facility. Back in April, four teens escaped. Murphy said he believes there have been other patients escape that haven't been reported to law enforcement.

"I live in a neighborhood right behind the facility and I definitely don't think it's secure enough to be around residential areas," Murphy said.

In the past two months, an employee was beaten and on two occasions, and several clients with criminal backgrounds escaped.

The town attorney will check the facility to make sure its within proper coding and regulations.

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