Starting Monday, Rock Hill police officers and their counterparts at the S.C. Highway Patrol and S.C. Transport Police will ramp up their efforts cracking down on agressive, dangerous and drunk drivers — and they’re warning you in advance.
The program is officially called the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety, or DDACTS, and is a joint effort between state and local officials to ‘saturate’ a specific area with law enforcement and reduce traffic accidents and violent crime.
The program has already been successful along the I-77 corridor in Rock Hill, Rock Hill police chief Chris Watts said, where his department launched the program last year in the area surrounding Cherry and Celanese Roads.
Beginning August 18, the program expands to the south side of the city, including a triangle-shaped area bordered by Albright Road/S.C. 72, East Black Street and Saluda Street.
“It goes back to us being there, we’re visible,” Watts said. “Hopefully when people are coming through and especially outsiders that come into the city to commit a crime, they say ‘There’s way too many police. I don’t want to come here and do that.'”
The existing DDACTS initiative will remain in place as the new area comes on board, patrol captain Rod Stinson said. Both initiatives will utilize the resources of specialized units, including the department’s traffic unit, and will not take away from patrol officers’ existing patrol zones.
And on the street, the program appears to be working.
“It definitely increases our presence and gets people to slow down and understand that we are out there and are working to reduce the crime rate,” said officer Jonathon Whiteside, who has worked in the department’s patrol division for three years. “It does decrease the amount of accidents and speeding drivers.”
During a tour of the new enforcement area Friday, drivers quickly slowed down as Whiteside ran his RADAR gun along the side of Saluda Street. One resident, who asked not to be identified, said she’s appreciative for the increased enforcement effort and the officer presence makes a positive difference.
“I get a lot of questions like ‘What’s going on?’ and ‘What are all of y’all doing out here?’ That’s when we explain to them our intentions and our goals,” Whiteside said. “They thank us a lot for it.”