Wayne DeWitt wins Berkeley County Sheriff's race

Two trying to unseat longtime Berkeley Co. sheriff in primary

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Incumbent Wayne DeWitt has won the Berkeley County Sheriff race, beating out Brian Adams and Matt Smoak Tuesday night.

It was the first time ever Sheriff Wayne DeWitt found himself in uncharted territory. He had never had any opposition on Election Day, until now.

"I've been sheriff 20 years. I have a passion for Berkeley County," DeWitt said earlier this week.

He had two challengers on Tuesday's Republican primary. One of them was North Charleston Police Lt. Brian Adams.

"My dream has always been to run for Berkeley County Sheriff," Adams said.

The other candidate was Charleston Police officer Matt Smoak.

"The time has come that the communities in Berkeley County need a sheriff's department that's gonna be there for them," Smoak said.

Dewitt was touting his experience and knowledge of the sheriff's office in his re election bid. His opponents said Dewitt hasn't done enough.

Smoak says more deputies need to be on the road to lower response time to calls.

"They're calls for 'Hey, I've got somebody breaking into my house or I've got this emergency, I need police response' and the response times can range from ten minutes to an hour sometimes. And I think that's a little extreme."

The sheriff says he has special teams to put in problem areas to fight crime.

"Hopefully in the next budget we'll get some more deputies and that's my intention, is to put them out on the streets, more visibility, hopefully less crime."

Adams is taking aim at the detention center where two floors are empty.

"We got a jail that sits vacant. Only a third of it has been used. I think we need to work hard on making that a priority."

Dewitt says he's asked for 23 new detention officers for the new budget that goes into effect July first.

"That's putting us in the position we can go ahead and expand and move in to the other two floors."

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