Lake City Police Department starts zero-tolerance program

February 14, 2019

LAKE CITY, S.C. – The Lake City Police Department started a “zero-tolerance program” last week following a recent homicide at the Coker Mobile Home Trailer Park.

Police Chief Kipp Coker said he responded to a call after a young man was shot and lost his life at the trailer park. And at that point, he said, he decided something had to be done because too many people are being shot and shot at.

“So I created this zero-tolerance program,” Coker said at Tuesday’s Lake City City Council meeting. “Now zero-tolerance program doesn’t mean if you got a headlight out, you’re going to jail. This is like DUS (driving under suspension), DUIs (driving under the influence) and on above.”

Since the zero-tolerance program started last week, Coker said, the police department has arrested nine fugitives and served 24 major warrants. The warrants included charges of attempted murders, narcotics and other major crimes.

“We’ve had a couple chases, pursuits within Lake City over this past weekend,” Coker said. “They were successfully captured without incident. We did have a deputy get hurt. I think he broke his hand. But other than that, this zero-tolerance thing has dropped our calls tremendously. Our burglaries, just any kind of crime, it has dropped tremendously.”

Although the Lake City Police Department has arrested a lot of people over the last four to five days, Coker assured people at the council meeting that officers are not arresting everyone. And the majority of the people they have arrested are not from Lake City.

“They don’t live in Lake City,” Coker said. “They’re coming to our city committing crimes.”

In 2016, the Lake City Police Department responded to 10,615 calls, according to a report Coker presented to the council on Tuesday. In 2017, the department responded to 14,223 calls. In 2018, 9,989 calls were responded to. Coker said he thinks that drop in call numbers goes along with the department being proactive.

The Lake City Police Department receives high call volumes, according to Coker. And out of more than 11 agencies in Florence County, the department is number three in volume, falling behind the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department, he said.