Lincolnville Mayor-elect: Bring back police department

LINCOLNVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The newly-elected mayor of Lincolnville wants to bring back the town's police department.

Just over 1,100 people live in Lincolnville, off highway 78 near Summerville.

Mayor-elect Charles Duberry says regular patrols by deputies, are not enough to keep the town safe.

"Public safety is the number one concern for our town," said Duberry.

"During the 30 years that I've lived here, the crime has never been what it is now. We've had some improvements but not a whole lot," said Councilman Enoch Dickerson.

Standing on Dunmeyer Hill Road, the men were just blocks away from where a 76-year-old man shot and killed a man he says tried to rob him last month.

"When we had our own police department, we didn't have a lot of crime that we have now," said Duberry.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has handled all emergencies since the town did away with its police department in 2012.

The four police cars once used by the town are now being stored in the old fire station.

The sheriff's office says at any given time they have three deputies patrolling that part of the county near highway 78.

"Well Highway 78 plus Woodside Manner, Ladson, that's a wide area and if something happens the majority of the police over there and you got little Lincolnville still sitting right here with no P.D," said Duberry.

Duberry believes the town can find the money again to pay for its own department. He says he's grateful for help from the sheriff's office but says the chance of police not being close by gives criminals the upper hand.

Duberry said, "They know when the police there and the police not there."

From December of 2012 to just last month the sheriff's office reported that deputies responded to 33 burglaries, 15 calls on gunshots heard, 22 thefts, 8 acts of vandalism and 1 investigation about an explosion.

Duberry believes that rolling out their own patrols again and working alongside the sheriff's office will be nothing but good for the town of Lincolnville.

In 2012, the town budgeted $66,000 for its one-man police department.

Early estimates for this year could cost the town $53,000 for a part-time police chief and a sergeant.

A spokesperson with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office says their deputies will continue to patrol the area, no matter what.

Lincolnville town hall meetings are the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm. Community members are encouraged to come out and express their concerns.

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