CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The head of the new Charleston Police Department Patrol Bureau said there’s no hiding the fact the bureau is trying to clean-up the Transit Mall in downtown Charleston. Fifteen more people were arrested there Thursday night.

“We believe people have the right to walk through there without being harassed and having to see people smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. So we’re going to spread that problem somewhere else, hopefully out of Charleston,” Lt. Shawn Williams said.

The Charleston Transit Mall, which lies between Laidley and Summers Streets in downtown Charleston, is a walkway to the Town Center Mall and Charleston Civic Center.

Lt. Williams said most of the arrests have been for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He said it’s time to change the face of the area.

“It’s the same people over and over and over again and unfortunately that’s the problem but we’re not going to stop,” Williams said. “Unfortunately it takes a great deal of our resources to do that but we’re not going to let up until they get the message–not here, not anymore.”

The Patrol Bureau is also focused on other areas of the city but the transit mall is one of the most visible.

“It’s actually a great park if you can look past the derelicts that use it for not what it’s designed¬†for. Again, we’re going to keep sending that message. We’re going to pound away until they get it,” Williams said.


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  • Pickle Barrel

    Good. Keep sending in the cops to clean out that snake pit for good.

  • Ronin

    If you were to legalize that cannabis, you could make the city nicer, support teacher salaries to better educate our children to respect themselves and their environment, and pay more cops to do more to stop serious drug use and alcoholism- instead of locking up people using something that isn't addictive and can't kill you.

  • 2XLPatriot

    Must be all of those out of state drug dealers buying guns out of the trunks of cars that Danny Jones is always spewing about......

  • Jason

    A good start, but they also might want to consider cleaning up the homeless camps they're allowing on the Elk river, under the Spring street bridge and near Virginia street.

    On the wooded hillside next to the interstate above the corner of Slack & Piedmont, and directly below Hinton Terrace, there is a guy with a tent and camping area set up on city property.It's visible from Piedmont Rd. or the Interstate.

    He trespasses, he steals, and apparently it's approved. Multiple inquiries from citizens & businesses haven't addressed the problem because they "couldn't find it". On one call, a policeman said he'd look on Google Earth "figure out the location". Really? When it's visible from the the street and those calling offer to point out the location?

    • Jason412

      How do you propose to clean up these homeless camps without them just relocating to a different part of the city? Lock them up and let the tax payers pay for their housing?

      Pittsburgh recently tried to "clean" up the homeless camps under the Fort Pitt bridge and they've since just spread out. Taking the problem of a group from under the bridge/out of sight, to single people all over the city.

      • Ronin

        How about if the real estate companies and motels that owe back taxes or loans were to receive credit against their debt for housing those folks, residents allowed to bring exactly one bag, no bigger than an army duffel bag when they move in. Residents could work off their rent by maintaining the facilities and providing labor for trash clean-up and other public works, and likewise businesses with tax issues could obtain credits by hiring those workers. residents would sign a release releasing housing and employment providers from liability beyond simple considerations of OSHA and the Housing Act. Yes, i know there are a thousand mostly political reasons people will object, but right here in the Eastern Panhandle, we're driving on roads that were originally laid down by the people of the CCC camps, and we need something of that sort in America today. The system works, if we keep the ACLU and ambulance chasers out of it, keep big business from trying to use it as an end-run on safety, and keep liberals from trying to qualify everyone based on skin color instead of a desire to get ahead.

        I've been homeless and poor, within the last five years, and I can tell you that there are a lot of clean, intelligent, willing, well-educated non-drug-user homeless people who are only different from you and me in that they didn't get one important paycheck and it all came apart right there.

        Given a chance, they will work their way back.

        I've seen it.

        I've done it.

      • Jason

        One-way bus fare to Pittsburgh???

        In all seriousness, I'm not sure. But having locations with mattresses, makeshift tents, and trash everywhere is an eyesore. And it does need "cleaned" up. Businesses that adjoin such locations have every right to complain long and loud about it.

        In those instances, the city is essentially allowing certain businesses and neighborhoods to carry the burden of the negative impact. Why not let them camp in the new green space across from the Clay Center???

  • Voter

    I believe most of the shootings and stabbings are occuring on the West Side.

  • DWL

    Want to clean the town, pray for heavy rains and the Kanawha River to flood. Wash the human garbage away.

  • WV Man

    Been there before and it's a good plan of action.

  • Chuck

    TB, Why stand on a silent platform? Go down to the transit with your soapbox and create a following. You obviously know everything about public safety. I'll see ya there! Do i see public office in your future? Where do I donate do you have a super pac? Wow public incitement can be liberating!

  • TB

    According to Nanny Jones' logic, if you outlaw alcohol there would not be such a problem. "It's the same people over and over and over again" states the police officer. Liberal "nanny like" enforcement and punishment is the true problem.