Friday, June 8, 2012
The two Republican candidates for Georgetown County Sheriff are incumbent Lane Cribb and his former deputy, Doug Dishong.
Cribb has been in law enforcement since 1973 when he worked with the South Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control as an investigator.
He then worked as a Criminal Investigator with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, until he returned home to work as an investigator with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Cribb was elected Sheriff of Georgetown County in 1992.
Cribb has three children: Al, Kristina, and Matthew.
Dishong has been in law enforcement 14 years. He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years beginning in 1987.
He worked at the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office from 1998-2005 before being hired by Horry County Police, where he currently works.
Dishong and his wife, Jessie, have two children Dustin and Whitney.
Q: Personnel and fuel are two of the biggest expenses of the Sheriff’s Office.
What can be done to help save money in those areas?
Cribb: As Sheriff, I have always been successful in providing high levels of service while remaining within the limits of budgeted funds. Like any business, personnel costs consume a large portion of those funds. I combat the costs by ensuring that those employed with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office are capable of performing more than one function.
My Office provides services in the areas of enforcement, corrections, communications, and judicial. My staff has the ability and is trained to perform multiple functions within their respective areas of operation without the need for increased manpower.
This practice has allowed my office to keep up with the demands placed upon us by our citizens while minimizing the tax burdens placed upon them.
In regards to fuel costs, as Sheriff, I implemented a fuel savings policy 5 years ago. Each patrol unit is required, on average, to park in a high populated area and cut their patrol car off 15 minutes out of each hour that they are on duty. This does two things; it allows for my Office to operate without excessive fuel costs, and it increases the visibility of the marked patrol car. Out patrol units work 12 hour shifts, so this allows for 3 hours of fuel savings per day, per car.
Dishong: Personnel is one area that an administrator would like to raise salaries to encourage longevity and quality of officers and to increase more personnel on the street.
In this economic times it is impractical to do so, so I plan to re-organize the personnel structure to have administrative positions double up on responsibilities and utilize those positions that are freed to place more manpower on the street where more it is needed without costing the tax payers more money.
Fuel is a major concern for any agency that has a fleet of vehicles. Unfortunately Law enforcement needs to keep actively patrolling communities so fuel will constantly be consumed.
There are several different methods to conserve fuel.
One major step is to insure the vehicle are properly maintained; For one, check tire pressure which drastically changes fuel economy. There are several different Fuel saving devices used in Law Enforcement today. One is the application of an Idle Right Charging system being installed on vehicles.
Due to the large amount of electronics used in law enforcement vehicles and the drain on the batteries vehicles are commonly left running for the duration of the shift.
The installation of Idle Right Charging systems is one way to offset fuel consumption by allowing the deputies to shut off the vehicle at calls and when the vehicle will sit for a short time.
The Idle rights system senses battery voltage and automatically starts the vehicle for a predetermined time to charge the battery to keep the electronics from draining the battery. Another fuel conservation device is the Eco system Fuel Enhancer. This device installed on Police vehicle was tested and increased fuel mileage on average by 2 to 3 percent. This percent applied to a fleet of vehicle could make a significant difference in Fuel cost.
Q: We hear the term neighborhood policing quite often. What is it and how can it be done more effectively in Georgetown County?
Cribb: “Community Policing” is a philosophy that uses partnerships between law enforcement and individuals to find solutions to problems affecting society today.
As Sheriff, I have established more than 30 Neighborhood Watch programs throughout Georgetown County.
This has allowed those communities to make a positive influence on where they live and improve their quality of life.
These programs raise awareness into the issues of crime and suspicious activity that may be affecting a certain area and develop a strong relationship between deputies and residents for the purpose of combating those issues.
I feel that these programs are effective and the only way to improve upon them is for all communities within Georgetown County participate. You can establish your own Neighborhood Watch program by calling the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office at 546-5102.
Dishong: Community Policing is not a specific program that can be implemented. Community Policing is an action which comes from within a Law Enforcement Agency, in which the primary organizational goal is working cooperatively with individual citizens, groups of citizens and both public and private organizations to identify and resolve issues which potentially effect the neighborhoods and communities within the county as a whole.
This is accomplished by building a dialog with the communities where plans and ideas can be exchanged, problems and concerns relayed back and forth. Plainly stated, more active personal involvement within the community.
Also, Deputies will be permanently assigned to specific zones or areas designated within the county. This will ensure that the deputies can learn the areas, personally meet and have more interaction with the citizens that live or work in those areas, recognize problem areas within there zone and allow the deputy to gain the trust of the people within those areas. Citizens seam to exchange information easier with a Law Enforcement Officer that they readily recognize and trust.
Q: If elected, what new technology would you like to see implemented at the Sheriff’s Office during the next four years?
Cribb: As Sheriff, I have equipped the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office with a records management system that allows for the digital recording and maintaining of all reported incidents. This system has been in operation for over 12 years, and was the first installment in ensuring that my staff has the ability to accurately research and analyze the data collected and respond proactively to it.
My second installment as Sheriff was to equip my officers with Mobile Data terminals in their patrol vehicles.
This technology allows them to stay in the communities and accomplish the task of reporting in lieu of having to go to a Sheriff’s station.
This technology also enables the officer to retrieve the most up to date information detailing incidents or people that they come into contact with.
It is truly making them more efficient in their duties while allowing for more time in the communities that they serve.
Dishong: A few types of technology would greatly help out the Sheriffs Office. One is the implementation of the E-ticket system. This system is an electronic citation system that can be integrated with the Mobile Data Transmitters already installed in the Patrol Vehicles. This system would allow the Deputies to Run the Drivers License and vehicle information and the system would enter the information automatically on the citation and then able to print out a copy for the driver but it will automatically send the citation information to the SCDMV and the Court System eliminated wasted paper and time making it more efficient and cost efficient.
Another would be the use of Automatic Plate Readers. Georgetown City has some stationary units in operation already.
This system can be mounted on patrol vehicles or set up to be mobile and covert to move to different communities as needed. This system allows the reading of hundreds of vehicle plates a minute as they pass.
The system can automatically gain the information on the vehicle and owner. It can recognize Stolen vehicles reported to the system and vehicle tag violations.
It can also be used in high crime or drug areas to assist in gaining intelligence for drug investigations, investigations in neighborhood crime sprees by tracking vehicles and information giving leads into criminal activities and suspicious persons in those areas.
Q How will the Sheriff’s Office be a better department four years from now if you are elected?
Cribb: The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office was honored by the State of South Carolina for achieving the status of Accredited Police Agency.
This accreditation validates all of the hard work and professional services that my employees deliver every day and establishes guidelines for achieved success in the future.
Furthermore, we have high crime clearance rates and low crime, and yes, we are technologically advanced, but all of this is not sustainable if you do not have a Sheriff that understands the importance of balancing all of that with the needs of the citizens.
As Sheriff, I will continue to find this balance and deliver services that are professional, efficient, and effective.
Dishong: My goal, if elected to Sheriff of Georgetown County, is to improve the moral, ethical and professional Standards within the sheriffs office. Having fair, equal and unbiased Law Enforcement. To change the actions of the sheriffs office to be Proactive in its law enforcement to reduce crime and better serve the communities and build a better relationship between the Sheriffs office and the citizens within the county to build on there trust and gain there respect for there Law Enforcement Agency.