BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says they want to rezone the county into two separate districts and hire more deputies.
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis says he has adopted a new district plan for the Sheriff’s Office which went into effect on March 22.
Lewis says this new approach splits the entire county, approximately 1,231 square miles, into North and South districts and adopts new schedule shifts for all deputies.
Previously, Berkeley County deputies were split into six zones around the county, and Lewis says they approached the county as one entire area.
Lewis says the new system splits deputies into north and south districts and then following sub-sectors. Within that structure, he says deputies will be stationed at any one of the five substations: Cross, Alvin, Cainhoy, Cane Bay and the soon-to-be-open Red Bank Road substation in Goose Creek.
Lewis says twice as many Berkeley County deputies will be working at any time and they will be able to respond to calls faster.
The BCSO says they worked with Berkeley County Council to tackle these needs and implement this plan to allocate eight new deputies a year for three years.
“This new plan has been more than three years in the making and a much-needed upgrade from our old zoning system,” Lewis said. “We studied the amount of calls to service and placed deputies strategically in those locations. Simply put, this new system changes the way we police. We are decreasing response times and increasing services. I’m incredibly proud of our team.”
Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office leadership says they saw the need for this new district plan due to increased call volume, a population increase and a zoning system that needed to be updated.
This plan will strategically places deputies around the lake, where Lewis says call volumes have increased.
This new district plan has been managed in the North District by BCSO Captain Annie Jackson and in the South District by BCSO Captain Jason Potteiger.