By Jackie Park for The Island Eye News
Photos courtesy of Isle of Palms Facebook
In May, Safewise, a company specializing in home safety, published their list of “2018’s 100 Safest Cities in America.” Isle of Palms came in at number 48.
According to Interim Police Chief Kim Usry, Safewise gets the rankings for their report from numbers submitted to the FBI through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The numbers mentioned include our 0% violent crime rate and 26.7% property crime rate (per 1000).
“I’m not surprised,” Randy Bell, Vice Chairman of the Isle of Palms Public Safety Committee said. “We’re a small community that has two access points. I’d like to think that people who do bad things probably don’t choose to do those things on an island with two ways in and out.”
With, Isle of Palms is not without any crime. Chief Usry remarked on how many calls the police force responds to are those of people having too much to drink and getting into arguments as well as reports of theft or vandalism.
“With an increasing number of visitors, we’ve overall seen an increase in behaviors we’d like to prevent, but we have a fairly large police force for the size of the island that we are and a commensurately large fire department. I don’t think the residents should expect any less,” Bell said.
“We encourage the mantra ‘Know something? See something? Say something.’” Detective Sergeant S.M. Baldrick, who supervises the Criminal Investigation Division said. “If neighbors look out for each other, and let us know when they see things out of place, such as someone at a house who shouldn’t be, that can be a tremendous help. We also try to educate our residents and visitors about securing valuables, as well as securing their homes and vehicles. In this way, they can help us to help them.”
The Isle of Palms Police Department often leaves flyers on unlocked cars and unsecured bicycles that read ‘You Could Have Been the Victim of A Crime’ according to Chief Usry.
In addition to the lack of violent crimes and respondent residents, IOP has an involved police force. Baldrick said, “We have officers, from top to bottom in our organization, who are dedicated and professional. They are proactive, inquisitive and knowledgeable. They pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary and don’t mind asking questions. We also have a strong presence in the community and encourage folks to contact us when things just don’t seem right.”
“I want to see the officers very much involved in doing our best to interact with the citizens and encouraging our citizens to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so that they can keep up with the information that we’re putting out,” Usry said.
“We are very proud of our safety ranking, and we know that it is due to a collaborative effort between our department, the citizens and our elected officials who provide us the support we need to continue to keep everyone safe,” Baldrick said.