Community crime meeting held by Jasper Co. Sheriff's Office

JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Frustrated Jasper County residents voiced their concerns about the growing crime rate at a community meeting in Ridgeland Wednesday night.

The sheriff described this meeting as a cry for help from the people living in Jasper County to help deputies stop the senseless violence.

In the past week, two teens have been shot, one of them was killed. Another 15 year old was arrested and charged with murder. Last month, the bodies of two people, a man and a woman, were found burnt in a car in Hardeeville. The coroner says they were shot and beaten to death.

Jasper County Sheriff Gregory Jenkins held the meeting in an effort to get the community involved in crime prevention. Parents and community members told the sheriff they are tired of the violent crime and they wanted to know how they can help fix the problem.

"The crimes that are taking place in our community, we see that no matter what the crime is lately, the cost is human life. So, we're going to be pushing and promoting citizen involvement. That's going to be our main line," pushing that; involvement, accountability. No finger pointing, no blame; just coming out and talking, hearing our community; what they know they expect from us, and what we're looking for from them," said Sheriff Jenkins.

Jenkins discussed the county's drug and gang problems among teens and asked parents to watch their children closely – and encouraged them to speak out if they were aware of any problems in the neighborhood. He also said the county is considering implementing a curfew to keep teens off of the streets.

"What we know now is our county attorney will look into this and that's natural. Then we'll go before county council. When I say what we are really looking to get out of this here is a change. But that curfew may end up saving a life and that's what we're after," said Sheriff Jenkins.

The Sheriff will hold another community meeting Thursday at the Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School. It starts at 7 p.m.

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