Still image by Flickr user skippytpe
Update July 26: The community meeting about crime on St. Helena Island went ahead on Wednesday with a full house.
At it Sheriff P.J. Tanner did his best to make the seriousness of the case apparent and explain why the heavy-handed mob statute was needed.
WTOC 11 has a solid video report (watch it up top or over here).
The Island Packet also has a report.
Expect another forum in the coming weeks.
First reporting: A quick search of our archives shows the problem: Account after account of shootings on rural St. Helena Island, and the community and police are all too ready for things to quiet down.
"We must put a stop to it. This is out of hand. It has been out of hand for a while", said Sheriff P.J. Tanner of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office while talking to WTOC 11. "There are a lot of issues on St. Helena between different groups. They refer to themselves as the MOEs and the MOBs. It is not necessarily a gang type, it is more of a community type thing. It's Delamo against Ballpark. It is a community driven attitude."
With that the the sheriff's office is looking to get more information from the community, particuarly those that might be reluctant to say anything. And the sheriff's office is willing to go as far as press charges under South Carolina's "mob statute" to induce more willingness.
The sheriff's office is starting with a public meeting on "Crime on St. Helena Island" at St. Helena Elementary School on Sea Island Parkway on Wednesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m.