A resident of Waterside at The Catawba posted this image Nov. 20 on Facebook as Fort Mill police arrested a suspect.

   The Fort Mill Police Department took issue with a resident’s claims that the town seems to be turning into a major crime zone.

  Resident Jon Lastra recently sent a message to the Fort Mill Sun regarding the three suspects that were involved in chase on Banks Street. He said he hadn’t seen an update regarding the third suspect who escaped a traffic stop. Lastra said the manhunt happened a quarter-mile where he lives in Waterside at The Catawba.

   “My neighbors and I are all concerned as you can understand,” said Lastra, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. “It seems, Fort Mill is turning into a major crime zone. Multiple drug busts, theft, burglary, muggings & robbery, automatic weapons, road rage and shootings. I left DC after 15 years to move to a quiet Fort Mill Town. In the year I’ve lived here, it’s been anything but.”

   I took the question to Maj. Bryan Zachary with the Fort Mill Police Department. He said developments on big cases are provided as they occur. “With regard to the recent incident in the Waterside area, there have been no additional developments and the third suspect remains unidentified.”

    In reference to Lastra’s concerns, Maj. Zachary said he can confidently say that although no town or city is exempt from criminal activity, the incidence of crime here is not excessive.

   “As a matter of fact, a recent review of internet sources revealed that Fort Mill is consistently rated as one of the top ten safest cities in the State of South Carolina, including several ratings within the top five,” he said citing SafeWise, National Council for Home Safety and Security, New Home Source, SafeHome.org and Home Security Advisor.

   The major’s entire statement continues: “With the continuation of progressive leadership, steadfast support from the Town of Fort Mill’s elected officials and town management, and the level of support and spirit of cooperation that we frequently experience on the part of our citizens, the Fort Mill Police Department strives daily to maintain our position in that category. Our officers are encouraged to always take a proactive approach to their law enforcement duties, provide the most expedient response possible to calls for service, and assist the public however necessary, while maintaining the upmost in professionalism.”