BAMBERG – Bamberg County Sheriff Kenneth Bamberg outlined improvements he’s making in the department during a recent county council meeting.
“Policing has changed. It has evolved. You can’t police today effectively like we did in years past. So we are upgrading the sheriff’s office equipment,” Bamberg said during last week’s meeting.
“We have gotten outfitted with 13 in-car cameras for the police vehicles at zero cost to Bamberg County. … We’re supposed to be responsible … but yet we’ve got to balance that to make sure that we’re in a position as law enforcement to do our job effectively for the citizens in Bamberg County,” the sheriff said.
He said the sheriff’s office works with the Bamberg, Denmark and Ehrhardt police departments, along with the Denmark Technical College Department of Public Safety, in sharing resources.
In addition to the in-car cameras, the sheriff said the department has also received a grant for body cameras.
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“Now we’re going to have to put a little into that, I believe, but it’s always great anytime that you can offset any cost with funding from the state. And we’re going to continue to work and look for grants so that we can get the necessary tools and equipment that we need to do the job,” he said.
The department will also be making its transition to the use of an 800 megahertz radio system.
“We were operating off of the old 400 radio system. That was a nightmare for law enforcement in Bamberg County. … It is an officer safety issue, and it needed to be addressed,” he said.
“We fixed that problem based on the graciousness of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, where we were able to not only get the sheriff’s office up and running on 800 radios, we were also able to do dispatch and … code enforcement for less than $10,000.”
He said the sheriff’s office is currently short one dispatcher and one deputy, “but I promise you that the men and women that we have working at the sheriff’s office are giving 110 percent to Bamberg County and all the people of Bamberg County.”
“Collectively in Bamberg County, all the police departments are relatively short. It’s hard to find good, quality people that want to work in law enforcement. There are people out there that want to get on board, but it’s better to work short-handed than it is to bring a cancer into your organization and watch it make your organization deteriorate,” Bamberg said.
County Recreation Committee Chairman Curtis Tyler Jr. presented recreation grants for the following programs:
• Bamberg County Youth Baseball (ages 6 and under), $1,000
• Bamberg Youth Softball (girls ages 7-9), $1,500
• Bamberg Youth Softball (girls ages 10-12), $1,500
• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 7-8), $1,200
• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 9-10), $1,200
• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 11-12), $1,200
• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 13-14), $1,000
• Bamberg Pony League (ages 13-14), $1,500
• Bamberg County 4-H (ages 5-18), $650
• Summer Enrichment/Recreation Program (ages 11-18), $2,000
• Bamberg County First Steps (preschool), $1,394.
SCA Development Director John Fleming introduced Brian Warner as the SCA’s new project manager.
Fleming said work is continuing at the county’s Wolfe industrial site.
“We’ve started environmental and survey work on that piece of property …….