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Pee Dee residents ask for answers about recent drive-by shootings at community meeting

Darlington County and Hartsville leaders hosted a community meeting tonight in response to the wave of violence (WPDE)

A recent string of drive-by shootings has some in the Pee Dee concerned.

Darlington County and Hartsville leaders hosted a community meeting tonight in response to the wave of violence.

Tina Espinell is worried about the shooting around her neighborhood. She said she thinks tonight’s meeting was successful.

"Only complaint I did have is the shooting that goes on in the community, but I did get it addressed here and I got good results," Espinell said.

Tina and lots of others at Monday night's meeting were demanding answers about police are doing to combat crime.

"The community gets a chance to express themselves and get a chance to get to know the police officers and let them know what exactly what's going on," Espinell said.

State Senator Gerald Malloy said he wanted the meeting to open dialogue and help find solutions.

RELATED: Report: Darlington County home shot up three times in the past month

"What's critical is that to make the community familiar with law enforcement, so they will not be strangers, so they can end up having a conversation and have an open door policy because it is their community," Senator Malloy said.

Trust and communication are two of the issues that many people at tonight's meeting kept coming back to.

"Shots fired that type of thing. You know, people call their council people sometimes because they're afraid to call themselves," Hartsville City Council Member Teresa Mac said.

"We're there to be in the community make them feel comfortable with us. Instead of running away from us, running towards us, and we gotta work together and working together that builds a strong community," Hartsville Police Community Outreach Lieutenant Tenyonde Richardson said.

The Hartsville Police Department received a 21st Century Cops Grant to hire a community outreach officer.

They're also opening a community outreach sub station to help fix that issue.

"We're gonna increase more patrols in the area which we're currently doing that, but that was one of the concerns of some of the citizens that they don't see much of them," Richardson said.

The city is planning another meeting for next month.

The Darlington County Sheriff's Office says about 14 people have been arrested in connection with the recent shootings

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