Sheriff's Office Uses Grant For DUI Enforcement
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office has used grant renewable for three years to place three deputies in three state-of-the-art cars to catch drunk drivers.
Sheriff Steve Loftis held a press conference Tuesday at the Greenville County Sheriff's Office to formally introduce the agency's new DUI Enforcement Team.
In October of 2011, the Sheriff’s Office received a $245,341 grant from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. That grant, according to Lt. Michael Hildebrand, is renewable for up to three years. The GCSO used the initial grant allocation to buy three 2011 Chevy Caprices and man them with three deputies whose full time jobs are DUI enforcement. The vehicles, Loftis said, are equipped with digital cameras and radars to assist the unit in the detection and apprehension of traffic offenders.
The recently formed DUI Enforcement Team is comprised of three deputies with extensive backgrounds within the traffic division - Chris Bailey, Gene Clark and Jonathan Jackson. During the first quarter of 2012, this three-man team has accounted for 89 DUI arrests, 376 additional traffic citations and 33 non traffic related criminal arrests. In all, the DUI Enforcement Team has issued 498 traffic citations or arrest warrants in just three months, Loftis said.
Hildebrand said the agency's subsequent grant requests during the three-year period will only include the salaries and benefits for the three deputies, since the cars were one-time capital expense items. After those three years, the deputies' salaries will be built into the GCSO's budget as a recurring expense.