Chimney Ridge is the only “college” neighborhood that is solely under the jurisdiction of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff, Assistant Sheriff, Captain, and several deputies all admitted this was all new to them, and they didn’t know exactly how to handle it.
The owners of Chimney Ridge felt that they must respond to the resident complaints. The last thing a “college” neighborhood needs is to get a reputation that the police are harassing and arresting the residents in the privacy of their own home.
It is the landlords’ responsibility to provide residents with a home away from home, including the privacy and protection they expect, and their right of enjoyment and habitability.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was placed on a No Trespassing Notice as result of doing what the owners felt was in the best interest of its residents.
The following is an excerpt from an article that was published March 4, 2011 by the Tiger News.
• A deputy denied a resident entry into the neighborhood unless and until the resident allowed the deputy to enter the property. The deputy also stated that Chimney Ridge had no right to “lock out” the Sheriff’s Office.
• Plain-clothed deputies entered a private residence at 127 Stone Crest Lane without a warrant or an invitation from an owner of the property.
• A deputy, in a marked car, drove through the neighborhood and asked residents to provide identification.
• A deputy parked in the driveway of a house directly behind Chimney Ridge and walked through the yard onto Chimney Ridge’s property and the back of the residence. Thereafter, the deputy harassed several residents in an effort to conduct an investigation regarding underage drinking.
• On several different occasions, deputies have been seen after hours with flashlights looking through residents’ windows.
Additionally, Andrighetti said there was concern over “retaliation” by PCSO.“On different occasions, deputies have indicated that their response time will be slower if management and residents do not allow deputies free access to the property,” he said.“In one case in particular, a resident called the Sheriff’s Department to complain of an intruder attempting to break into her house. A deputy arrived 25 minutes after the phone call was placed.”
Andrighetti said officers told the resident it was because the closest officer was busy breaking up a party with underage drinkers and could not respond, and that “because Chimney Ridge Management had told them to stay out of the neighborhood, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was hesitant to respond to Chimney Ridge,” he said.
He then demanded that PCSO “cease and desist from all illegal and unauthorized entry into the property,” adding that this was not to be taken as a request to cease responding to emergency calls.