Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams and Greenwood County Council Chairman Mark Allison shared loads of good news Wednesday from the podium at the annual State of the City and County luncheon hosted by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
Hundreds of business and community leaders made their way to the James Medford Family Event Center on the campus of Piedmont Technical College Wednesday to hear the elected leaders share what has been happening in the past year and what is planned for the future.
Allison noted that since county manager Toby Chappell arrived just under two years ago, there has been a concerted effort to adopt more modern policies and procedures.
“We found that a lot of (policies) were outdated,” Allison said. “Some of the most current ones dated back to (former President George H.W.) Bush 41(st president of the United States), that’s how old they were.”
Council recently adopted updates to the section of the police manual dealing with employees. Allison said it gives county employees a clearer idea of what the county expects of its employees and what the employees can expect from the county.
An excited Adams took to the podium following Allison and told those gathered that violent crime was at a 15-year low in 2014.
“South Carolina is kind of a violent place,” Adams said. “We’re the fourth most violent state in America. “Another statistic they put out was the 15 most violent cities in South Carolina and you won’t find Greenwood on that list. I am very, very proud of the work our police department is doing.”
Adams noted that for the first time in several years, the police department is close to fully staffed. He said that having enough officers on the streets combined with unprecedented cooperation with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office led to the downturn in crime. Adams said that the safety of the citizens in Greenwood was the first and foremost issue for the City of Greenwood.
“That’s the most important thing your government can give you is safety,” Adams said. “We’ve gotten the gang banger off the street. The Solicitor’s office has done a great job of putting those gang bangers away and we’ve seen some judges lay down some pretty stiff sentences.”
Adams also noted that the help of the residents has been instrumental in the low crime rate.
“What also has an effect is the people, the residents of the City of Greenwood,” Adams said. “They believe in the system. They’re reporting the crimes and you’re seeing the results.”