Dorchester County Sheriff: We need more deputies

DORCHESTER, S.C. (WCIV) - Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight says his deputies are overworked and underpaid. Now, he's asking the county for more money and more deputies.

Knight says Dorchester county is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, but the department has not been able to grow in comparison to the growth in the county.

"We need more people on patrol," said Knight.

The sheriff says with the South Carolina Highway Patrol being short-staffed, his deputies are covering portions of Interstate 26 and Interstate 95. From January to Mid-August of 2012, Dorchester County has responded to more than 800 calls on those two stretches of interstate.

"Nearly 3,000 traffic tickets and 1,500 warnings have been issued," said Knight.

Knight has requested two more deputies for all four shifts for a total of eight additional deputies. Knight says each deputy would cost around $100,000. That cost includes salary, a vehicle, equipment and training.

Knight says he was told by council they would take it under consideration and see what they could do.

"I'm there at their mercy," said Knight. "If they could help me with some more funds to pay my guys and gals a little more money and at the same time try to get a few more bodies in place, that would help us serve the people a little better."

If the additional deputies are approved, Sheriff Knight says it would help his department transition back into a proactive department instead of a reactive one, allowing them to prevent crime instead of reacting to incidents.