ROCK HILL, SC – Rock Hill Police responded to more than 100 calls to the New Hope Carolinas Treatment Center.
Neighbors told Channel 9 South Carolina bureau reporter Tina Terry that children were seen running away from the facility, which provides behavioral healthcare.
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Terry asked state and facility officials what was being done about safety issues.
Hope Carolinas employees care for dozens of children across the country who have behavioral, conduct and psychiatric issues.
However, an anonymous Channel 9 viewer said in an email that he had inside information about the establishment.
‘Residents are escaping by kicking down doors, stealing badges and stealing keys,’ the viewer said in an email to Channel 9. ‘Staff are quitting en masse… someone is going to be hurt or killed in this place.”
Rock Hill Police said they received 120 calls for service last year and 43 this year for missing person reports, assaults and follow-ups to previous calls.
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“I saw the police in the neighborhood and then I saw them putting lights on in our yard,” neighbor Sally Bedenbaugh said. “So I put it on our Facebook page.”
Bedenbaugh watched the police react days ago and hopes neighbors can work with the facility’s new manager to turn things around.
Executive Director Matt Simon sent out a statement on Wednesday saying, “Given the nature of our population, we are experiencing challenges at our facility with youth behavior.
He also said: ‘The data for incidents in the building with youth behavior has all trended downward over the past 24 months.
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Simon also added, “New Hope reviews all incidents daily with a multidisciplinary team and implements actions, policy changes and facility improvements.”
Bedenbaugh hopes the facility and neighbors can work together to keep people safe inside and outside the facility.
“We hope the line of communication opens up where we can take calls or meetings and let us know what we can do as a community to help and be on our toes,” Bedenbaugh said.
Terry also contacted the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday.
Officials said the department had received 13 complaints about the facility in the past six months, including three so far this month.
DHEC has conducted two complaint investigations in the past six months. The most recent investigations carried out by the DHEC date back to January 14.
“As always, if anyone has specific allegations involving potential violations of NI 61-103we kindly ask you to submit a complaint using our online complaint form here so that we can investigate appropriately,” DHEC said in a statement.
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