MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A change in the command structure is now in place at the Town of Mount Pleasant Police Department. Chief Harry Sewell made the plans public at a council meeting recently.
"We've reach a point in growth in our community where there are just as many people living north of the IOP connector as are living south of the IOP connector," Town Administrator Eric Demoura said.
The town has more than doubled its population in the past three decades, going from 30,000 residents to nearly 70,000. Demoura says this rapid growth has called for some changes on how the town protects its people.
"What this change in the command structure does is allows us to have two lieutenants on the north end of town and southern end of town at all times. So what it gives us is a command presence in all sectors of town at all times which is something we don't have today," Demoura said.
The 145-officer department will now be split into two zones, north and south. Those officers will be lead by one chief, two majors, two captains, and multiple lieutenants. In the past the department was run by one chief, one major, and three captains.
Residents say the changes sound like a good idea, but there are some concerns.
"From what I understand the zones downtown work fairly well also. The only problem I see is if one zone got less enforcement than the other zone, the crime would relocate," resident Sonya Duvall said.
Chief Sewell is now in the process of implementing the changes.
"Dynamics have changed over the last 30 years. This model keeps us well ahead of the game and contributes to keeping our people safe," Demoura said.
The town administrator says changes at the department did not need town council approval because it is a town administrative matter. He says the changes do not require any additional taxpayer money.