Pubdate: Sat, 08 Mar 2003
Source: Times and Democrat, The (SC)
Copyright: 2003, The Times and Democrat
Author: Larry P. Jordan, T&D Correspondent
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)

Calhoun County


ST. MATTHEWS -- Development of good community relations is cited by Calhoun 
County Sheriff Thomas Summers as one of the reasons for his department's 
success rate in bringing criminals to justice over the past two years.

"We have developed good community relations through hard work and 
aggressive law enforcement," Summers said in a recent interview.

He noted that although the rates of various crimes in Calhoun County hadn't 
changed significantly, the department's results have.

Summers said there were two murders in 2001 and none in 2002. Violent crime 
increased slightly in Calhoun County, particularly domestic violence and 
sex crimes, while the rates for other types remained static, he said.

"We have had a real successful year in drug enforcement in Calhoun County," 
the sheriff said. "The department has made numerous crack cocaine cases, 
which is the drug of choice in the county. We have made many good drug 
arrests, which included locating two large and several small marijuana 
fields and busting three people operating a methamphetamine lab in Sandy Run."

He said his department kept approximately $5 million in drugs off the 
streets. In assisting Orangeburg County, the Calhoun County Sheriff's 
Department's dog also discovered money in two suspects' vehicle totaling 
$75,000, Summers said.

Another area of improvement during 2002 was in solving burglaries, he said. 
While the rate of occurrence in the county is near the national average, 
the rate at which cases are solved has improved dramatically, Summers said. 
The arrest rate for 1999 was 3 percent, and in 2000, it was 5 percent, he 
said. But success in solving burglaries increased 400 percent to 25 percent 
for 2001 and 2002, Summers pointed out.

"I hope aggressive prosecution is responsible for this result; if so, we'll 
take credit for that," he added. "Property crimes are preventable, while 
violent crime is not. Therefore, we support vigorous prosecution of 
domestic violence perpetrators to try to prevent the creation of repeat 

Summers said the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department now has one dedicated 
narcotics officer, a dog that detects narcotics and money, and two tracking 
bloodhounds. He said the department also has established a mutual aid 
agreement with municipal law enforcement departments within the county to 
provide continuity in enforcement, he said.

In a continuing effort to provide better community service, the department 
will have four officers equipped with automatic emergency defibrillators to 
act as first responders for heart attack victims, Summers said.

"We are the only government agency that is awake 24 hours a day," he said, 
giving his department an edge in response time for those types of emergencies.
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