Decades into the war on drugs and not much to show for it. Berkeley County still finds itself in the middle of an opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds if not thousands.. while drug use and trafficking have not declined.
It is my intention to continue using aggressive interstate interdiction, working closely with the newly formed Narcotics Intelligence Unit and The Violent Crime Task Force. Continuing these proven information sharing practices and inter-departmental operations is critical to our current proactive approach in disrupting drug distribution through and into our county.
We need all Berkeley County neighborhood groups to feel comfortable working directly with law enforcement, to help develop and implement specific policing practices for their area. I will seek support to implement mobile anonymous apps designed to connect entire communities, monitored by deputies in the field. Services that improve response times will also build trust.
By inviting input from the community, we can improve real time crime reporting techniques that make the department more responsive. Using any technology intended for citizens to report community crime in real time.. only works if there is a quick follow-up or an immediate response.
I will focus traditional community policing efforts on our county drug activity. Using community policing creates healthy, personal relationships between law enforcement and the community. Those personal relationships build trust and provide benefits, such as the inside information needed to reduce drug activities and prevent future crimes.
These economically feasible ideas will free-up limited resources, allowing the department to focus more on drug crimes, implement increased surveillance and raids on suspected drug houses, increase patrols in known drug-crime areas, increase undercover bust-buy operations, unannounced street sweeps, saturated patrols and warrant servicing.
As sheriff I will also work within the system to focus community efforts on prevention with early intervention, positive support and rehabilitation. By implementing a plan using proven innovative methods combined with non-traditional law enforcement roles, we can better impact the tragedies brought about by this destructive opioid epidemic.