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Hampton Park shooting, robbery has regulars worried about safety

Hampton Park (WCIV).png

Charleston’s Hampton Park spans over 60 acres of land as runners, dog-walkers, and families frequent the grounds.

Soccer games, kids playing with ducks, and folks riding their bikes is the normal sight at the park. For Bill Mote and Allison Bennett, it’s where they come for their daily dose of exercise. “Trying to be thinner.” Mote said.

The couple lives in the area, they said safety hasn’t been a major concern. “It hasn’t in the past but with the recent story in the news,” said Mote.

His senses have been heightened, “It’s a little disconcerting knowing that Allison is over here sometimes by herself.”

Runners and walkers are all over the park, some with cellphone in tow, others choosing to run without their phone. A device Allison said she doesn’t leave home without. “Safety, especially at dusk and at dark. There’s some very isolated, dark areas in the park, it’s always nice to be safe with a phone.” Bennett said.

In the past, park goers have suggested phones be added to the park. “Bore access to something like that, and emergency phone would be great” Mote said.

Understanding the size of the park, the couple thinks starting small may be the best option. “If they do the perimeter, I think like a minimum of four, maybe like one on each corner, that would be nice.” Bennett said.

We asked the City of Charleston about placing emergency phones in the park. City of Charleston said this in a statement: "The city of Charleston is always evaluating security in our public spaces, and making whatever changes are necessary to keep our citizens safe. As a part of that process, we will be examining this suggestion closely, and relying on the judgment of our public safety professionals."

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