Aiken steps up patrols in problem areas

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October 10, 2006

In Aiken, they're making the message loud and clear: crime will not be tolerated.

Aiken Public Safety is teaming up with the sheriff's office to step up patrols in what they say are problem areas.

This all comes after two shootings in one day last week leaving a gunman still on the loose.

With more manpower on the streets, officers hope to keep you and your family out of the line of fire.

Every night before 55-year-old Emma Love goes to bed she makes sure that once the door is shut, no one is coming in.

"I put this behind the door," Emma told News 12, shoving her TV stand in front of the door. "It's frightening because you never know when your life's going to be torn from you."

She says during the day it's normally pretty quiet in Hahn Village, but that all changed last week when Travis Lee McKie allegedly shot two men, both in the arm.

"He said they just got out of the car and they shot at him. You never know what's going to happen," Emma said.

Earlier that same day, officers searched for another gunman after a man was shot at Club O'Hara. SWAT went to a house off Hampton Avenue and Chesterfield Street, but nobody was there.

The recent crime is why Aiken Public Safety is partnering with the sheriff's office to step up patrols in problem areas.

"When we have a shooting in a place like that with a lot of elderly and young kids, we want to stop it as quickly as we can," said Capt. Wendell Hall of Aiken Public Safety.

They sent out an extra 15 to 20 deputies and officers throughout the neighborhood last Thursday and Friday night to make the message clear.

"This is the type of instances that we just won't tolerate in the city," Capt. Hall said.

Emma says the extra security couldn't have come at a better time.

"That was very surprising," she said. "I hope we have more to keep the community clean."

During the two-day operation, 21 citations were issued and 25 outstanding warrants, both in the city and county, were cleared.