Conway Police Dept. cutting crime with cabbies

The Conway Police Department and Conway-based taxi cab companies have teamed up for a program called Cab Drivers on Watch, or C.O.W. for short. The goal of the program is to try and cut back on crime within the city of Conway.

This is the second week the program has been in effect, and it is the only one of its kind in Horry County.

"I'm excited about this program because I've got my 'Neighbors on Watch', and they look after the neighborhoods. I've got my Workers on Watch, who ride through the city as well. But my cabbers, those drivers move just as much as officers on patrol, so I'm excited because it's more eyes and movement," Seargent Darren Alston with the Conway Police Department said.

The cab drivers are told to look out for suspicious activity while on the roads. If something is seen, they are to write the details on an observation form, which is then given to Sgt. Alston.

"When they fill out those forms, I actually give it to the officers that work on those shifts. We report anything that happens to the officers on the road," Sgt. Alston said.

Alston said cab drivers are exactly the kind of help the police department needs.

"Most of them work basically the same hours that my officers work. The officers work 6 a.m to 6 p.m. Most of them work 9 hour shifts as well. So they possibly see more than what our officers see," Sgt. Alston added.

Tim Johnson, a 20-year employee of Yellow Cab in Conway, said he is onboard with the idea of stopping crime in his city.

"I'm willing to participate and clean it up. It's very important," Johnson said.

He's seen crime both inside and outside of his cab.

"I've been robbed one time by these two guys. They were young kids," Johnson said.

But nothing will stop Johnson from doing what he loves.

"A lot of people think taxi driving is dangerous. Me? I think it's fun," Johnson said.