SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) — Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson said violent and property crime in the city continues to decline.

    “We had, we just had the safest 10-year-old track we’ve had in a long time. And it’s a testament to our entire community,” Thompson said.

    While reviewing the 2022 crime statistics for the city of Spartanburg is encouraging in some ways, there are also areas of concern for Thompson, including the ongoing opioid crisis, homelessness and the number of guns stolen in cars.

    In 2022, people reported 130 stolen firearms to the police department, and 78 of them were taken from a vehicle. 63 of the 78 vehicle thefts showed no signs of force.

    “The gun element is irresponsibility, the irresponsibility of gun owners. We have to be more responsible in that regard,” Thompson said.

    The number of drug overdoses in the city and the amount of Narcan used by officers has skyrocketed over the past two years.

    “The opioid problem is big here in the city, and often it starts with prescription drugs, but eventually it trickles down to your heroin, your cocaine, you know that kind of stuff. Fentanyl, which is extremely lethal,” Thompson explained.

    In 2023, the department hopes to continue its partnerships to impact mental health and reduce drug use and homelessness.

    “We need to align our different resources together and use that synergy to solve the problem more holistically than giving away that morsel of food or that dollar bill or two,” Thompson said.

    But the main goal is to keep Spartanburg safe and engage the community.

    “Relationships matter. Relationships grow into partnerships that can truly impact and make a difference in our community,” said Chief Thompson.

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