Johns Island residents concerned about panhandling at shopping center

June 05 17:08 2017 Print This Article

A standing room only crowd gathered at the Berkeley Electric Cooperative building on Maybank Highway for the monthly Johns Island Council meeting. The Council, which meets the first Thursday of each month, is a citizens group that serves as a liaison between residents, businesses and local government. Those attending the June meeting expressed concerns about safety at the Maybank Highway Bi-Lo shopping center and the Johns Island Park.

A petition began circulating months ago which called for upgrading security at the Bi-Lo shopping center. The petition indicates a problem with panhandlers with alcohol on their breath begging for money in the parking lot. The shopping center includes a liquor store. A woman identified as Kathy D. wrote in the comments section, “We need to feel safe when doing errands. Too many men harassing me for money. Worried!” Find the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/410/017/820/stop-the-alcoholic-loitering-at-the-bi-lo-shopping-center-on-johns-island-sc/

The Charleston Police Department is responsible for patrolling the shopping center.  Officers told the crowd at Johns Island Council that they don’t have the resources needed to handle the problems there.  They also advised residents to not visit Johns Island Park after dark.  Some Johns Island leaders have suggested that the shopping center management hire off-duty police to handle security concerns.