By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Mark Keel says he hopes a new state budget with more money for more officers will help return South Carolina's top police agency to its originally intended role: supporting local law enforcement.
Since last summer Keel has been chief at the State Law Enforcement Division. He replaced former U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd, who stepped down with several months remaining in his term.
Lloyd has said he focused on building big cases. Keel says he is refocusing the agency on its legislative imperative of helping local police.
Keel spent decades at SLED before a brief stint at the Department of Public Safety. He says the new state budget will help him fund 45 new agents and beef up SLED's lab, actions he says are crucial to helping local agencies solve crimes.