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Town of Johnston needs ordinance for all night nightclubs
web posted February 8, 2006

OPINION – Crime is something that is distributed around the county. No part of the county is immune from it. However, the recent assault of two police officers at 3:00 am in a Johnston nightclub has us asking a question, what is a nightclub doing open until 3:00 or 4:00 am?

Edgefield County Deputy Trek Bryant and Johnston Police Officer Lamaz Robinson were both attacked by the same man, Marvin Emmanuel Hopkins, 20, of Aiken Avenue, Johnston. He is presently being held at the Edgefield County Detention Center.

The location, The Shack, is located on Railroad Avenue and is the center of many calls for police. Granted, it is not the only establishment that is the scene of several problems, but the fact it is allowed to stay open all night long is a catalyst for problems. We have received phone calls, e-mails, and personal comments from several people regarding the story we printed in Tuesday’s update, and none of them were positive towards the Town of Johnston.

We are not blaming the town for the criminals, but allowing situations that generate crime to exist unabated is something the town can act on to curb the occurrences. Mayor Dean Campbell and the Johnston Town Council should enact an ordinance that closes the doors of such locations at a decent hour. 4:00 am is not a decent hour.

Some say the nightclub runs until daybreak.

The town has a responsibility to provide for the safety and security of not only its citizens but its law enforcement personnel as well. The situation on Saturday was a man attacking police with his hands, this time. Next time it may be a knife, or worse, a gun.

The one thing that is evident is the town needs to act on this matter quickly before someone is hurt or killed. There is no question the town is aware of the situation. They have also been aware of the trouble spots in the town for quite some time. We have confidence Mayor Campbell and the Town Council will address the situation soon. We just hope soon is not too late.
Editor's note: Information provided on Tuesday night was that the Johnston Jaycees owned the Shack building. A member of the Jaycees called and said that information is incorrect and the Jaycees do not own the building. EdgefieldDaily.com regrets the error.

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