CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston Police Department is starting a new initiative to combat gang violence in the Lowcountry.
The Charleston Police Department says they want to start a regional Gang Task Force.
Charleston Police Department Gang Unit Supervisor Captain Andre Jenkins says it would be in partnership with surrounding law enforcement agencies including Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
Jenkins says there’s been a rise in gang violence over the last two to three years.
“This is one of the areas that we know we can operate and try to help with alleviating some of this violent crime,” Jenkins said.
CPD records show homicide rates doubled in 2020 and Jenkins says this is rooted in a huge link between violent crimes and gang activity.
The Police Department is applying for a national grant that requires a 10% match by the city. They say they will need $62,333 from the city to receive the national grant.
Jenkins says the grant would fund a new software that will allow all the regional agencies to share data and keep data all in the same system. Some of that information includes things like where gang related crimes occur most often.
The grant will also help them hire more personnel for the Gang Task Force, Jenkins says.
More information will be released once the grant and task force are finalized, but Jenkins says he hopes they can get it going within the next few weeks.
The request for the grant will be reviewed at the City of Charleston’s Ways and Means Committee meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday