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Charleston mayor says city needs to be safer in State of City address

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:40 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:09 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - During the annual State of the City address on Tuesday night, Mayor John Tecklenburg said he would be asking City Council to set aside one million dollars to expand camera coverage throughout the city for a new police program.

The mayor said a lot of crimes are committed by people with a record, so he is also going to personally lobby for a bail and sentencing reform bill.

“Protecting our citizens from crime–all our citizens, on every street and in every neighborhood of our city–is the first and most important job of local government,” Tecklenburg said Tuesday night.

In addition to crime, Tecklenburg said he and city council will spend this year addressing major concerns including flooding, affordable housing, and partnering with citizens and businesses to improve people’s quality of life.

According to the mayor, the city is spending more than $100 million to move a flooding and drainage plan forward, and said leaders would continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to build a peninsula-wide perimeter that would protect the city from storm surge and tides.

On crime, Tecklenburg praised the Charleston Police Department and Chief Luther Reynolds, calling their work “remarkable,” adding that the city has increased the police budget every year with investments in recruitment and retention.

The mayor said the city would be taking two major steps, recommended by Reynolds and CPD, to make the city safer. One of those steps is using $1 million of federal relief funds to expand and improve camera coverage throughout the city.

Tecklenburg said he and city leaders would also be lobbying state legislature for bail and sentencing reform. The mayor cited a high number of crimes being committed by repeat offenders.

The mayor also touched on affordable housing and mentioned “major” new affordable housing projects including Archer School, James Lewis Homes, and a new complex from One80Place to help those transitioning from homelessness.

Finally, Tecklenburg addressed traffic and safety, saying that the city would work with state and federal agencies to break ground on numerous projects including the widening of the Glenn McConnell Parkway in West Ashley.

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