Bamberg County Sheriff: Office making changes; new cameras, radios among improvements | Local

BAMBERG – Bamberg County Sheriff Kenneth Bamberg outlined improvements he’s making in the department during a recent county council meeting.

“Policing has changed. It has evolved. You can’t police today effectively like we did in years past. So we are upgrading the sheriff’s office equipment,” Bamberg said during last week’s meeting.

“We have gotten outfitted with 13 in-car cameras for the police vehicles at zero cost to Bamberg County. … We’re supposed to be responsible … but yet we’ve got to balance that to make sure that we’re in a position as law enforcement to do our job effectively for the citizens in Bamberg County,” the sheriff said.

He said the sheriff’s office works with the Bamberg, Denmark and Ehrhardt police departments, along with the Denmark Technical College Department of Public Safety, in sharing resources.

Bamberg County Council: administrator: Courthouse renovation moving forward

In addition to the in-car cameras, the sheriff said the department has also received a grant for body cameras.

“Now we’re going to have to put a little into that, I believe, but it’s always great anytime that you can offset any cost with funding from the state. And we’re going to continue to work and look for grants so that we can get the necessary tools and equipment that we need to do the job,” he said.

Bamberg County budget gets second OK; residents call for transparency, accountability

The department will also be making its transition to the use of an 800 megahertz radio system.

“We were operating off of the old 400 radio system. That was a nightmare for law enforcement in Bamberg County. … It is an officer safety issue, and it needed to be addressed,” he said.

“We fixed that problem based on the graciousness of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, where we were able to not only get the sheriff’s office up and running on 800 radios, we were also able to do dispatch and … code enforcement for less than $10,000.”

He said the sheriff’s office is currently short one dispatcher and one deputy, “but I promise you that the men and women that we have working at the sheriff’s office are giving 110 percent to Bamberg County and all the people of Bamberg County.”

“Collectively in Bamberg County, all the police departments are relatively short. It’s hard to find good, quality people that want to work in law enforcement. There are people out there that want to get on board, but it’s better to work short-handed than it is to bring a cancer into your organization and watch it make your organization deteriorate,” Bamberg said.


County Recreation Committee Chairman Curtis Tyler Jr. presented recreation grants for the following programs:

• Bamberg County Youth Baseball (ages 6 and under), $1,000

• Bamberg Youth Softball (girls ages 7-9), $1,500

• Bamberg Youth Softball (girls ages 10-12), $1,500

• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 7-8), $1,200

• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 9-10), $1,200

• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 11-12), $1,200

• Bamberg Youth Baseball (boys ages 13-14), $1,000

• Bamberg Pony League (ages 13-14), $1,500

• Bamberg County 4-H (ages 5-18), $650

• Summer Enrichment/Recreation Program (ages 11-18), $2,000

• Bamberg County First Steps (preschool), $1,394.

SouthernCarolina Alliance

SCA Development Director John Fleming introduced Brian Warner as the SCA’s new project manager.

Fleming said work is continuing at the county’s Wolfe industrial site.

“We’ve started environmental and survey work on that piece of property to move forward,” he said.

Fleming also reported that “multiple people” were looking at the CrossRhodes spec building.

“Two people that have looked at it in the last 30 days have engaged contractors to get prices of what it will cost to get it to their final specifications – so a step further. We’re happy about that,” he said.


County Treasurer Alice Johnson gave the April financial report, stating the county had $973,613.28 in income and expenditures of $979,502.04, leaving a negative balance of $5,888.76. When the positive bank balance at the end of March ($706,014.17) was added, the county’s regular account stood at a positive $700,125.41.

County Finance Director T.M. Thomas reported that the county’s general fund had year-to-date revenues as of the end of April of $6,982,280, with expenses coming in at $6,439,049, for a positive general fund balance of $543,230.

He said the county departments continue to operate within their budgets.

Administrator’s report

County Administrator Joey Preston reported the county’s hospital restoration project is moving forward.

“We are shooting for the fall, hopefully October, to be able to relocate the sheriff’s department from the current address to that building, along with the health department, veteran’s affairs office. Shortly thereafter, we’ll be relocating the county coroner. We’ll be starting on the emergency operations center as soon as we finish up the health department and the sheriff’s department,” he said.

Preston also reported that general sessions and family court proceedings will be taking place at the County Civic Center in July while the county courthouse undergoes renovations.

“We have some minor details we’re having to work out with the Court Administration in making sure we’re complying with the South Carolina law that we provide a safe and comfortable environment for general sessions court, family court and for the grand jury,’ he said.

• Council gave second reading approval to an ordinance authorizing the inclusion of West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., a wood products company, into a multi-county industrial and business park between Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton counties.

The company will create 135 jobs in Allendale. Under the revenue-sharing agreement among the counties, the host county for an incoming industry in Quad-County Industrial Park III will receive 70 percent of the tax revenues, with the remaining three counties receiving 10 percent. $5 for the first 20 weeks

• Approved a resolution authorizing the inclusion of TIVA Building Products Corp., a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking company, into a multi-county industrial and business park between Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton counties.

The company’s $8.3 million investment will create 122 new jobs in the Barnwell County town of Blackville.

• Approved a resolution authorizing the inclusion of Koch & Company Inc., an American-made door and cabinet manufacturer, into a multi-county industrial and business park between Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton counties.

The company’s $5.1 million investment will create 101 new jobs in Barnwell County.

• Approved a resolution for the county to participate in the Lower Savannah Regional Home Consortium.

• Approved a resolution recognizing the Andrew Jackson Academy baseball team for winning the S.C. Independent Schools Association Class A State Championship title and as county ambassadors.

• Approved a resolution recognizing the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Softball Team for winning the S.C. High School League 1A State Championship and as county ambassadors.

• Approved a resolution designating June 1, 2022 as James W. Bowden Sr. Day and recognizing Bowden as a county ambassador. Bowden, a Denmark Tech Area Commission member, graduated from Denmark Tech in 1972 and worked with Duke Energy for 42 years. He served as Duke’s first African American vice president before retiring in 2010.

• Gave second reading approval to an ordinance calling for a countywide referendum on whether alcohol sales should be allowed on Sunday.

• Gave third reading approval to an amendment to the county road ordinance to add 29 Cardinal Road in Denmark into its county maintenance system.

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