Sheriff: Detention center needs 16 more officers

  • Monday, March 24, 2014

Lindsay Street/Independent Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt requested 16 additional correctional officers for Hill Finklea Detention Center Monday.

Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt requested 16 additional corrections officers for the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Moncks Corner Monday during a county council committee meeting.

The detention center added seven officers this current year, and DeWitt's new request is part of upcoming budget talks in the county.

“It would reduce the risk of our detention officers there now because of the amount of inmates and the territory they have to cover,” DeWitt said. “It's not an easy working environment I can tell you that ... It's almost like you're being incarcerated there yourself.”

The additional officers would allow the detention center to open up its vacant second floor, DeWitt said. That extra space would increase inmate and officer safety, he added.

The cost to put 16 officers in the center would be a $775,000 recurring expense.

At the close of the regular meeting Monday, County Supervisor Dan Davis said the coming budget requests are $21 million over estimated revenues so decisions will have to be prioritized.

Berkeley County Council also approved final reading for the following:

• An ordinance to change zones on more than 3,000 acres of land owned by Nucor at 1455 Hagan Ave. in Huger from planned development, office park, industrial park district, and Flex-1 agricultural district to OP/IP, Flex-1 agricultural district and heavy industrial district.

• An ordinance to provide for the regulation of family day care homes in urban, rural and commercial zoning.

• An ordinance to provide for the regulation of accessory uses and structures in residential and Flex-1 zoning districts.

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