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.