17 Law Enforcement Agencies Team Up to Target Traffic Violations
Lesley Lane - GwdToday News Reporter 26.MAY.09
The jurisdictional lines that often limit law enforcement efforts will no longer exist in the Eighth Judicial Circuit as of June 1, 2009.

Today South Carolina Highway Patrol, along with the Greenwood, Abbeville, Laurens and Newberry Sheriff’s Offices and the respective counties police departments entered into a multi-jurisdictional selective traffic enforcement unit agreement. The goal, they say, is to cut down on traffic violations including driving under the influence, traffic related injuries and deaths.

The multi-jurisdictional agreement will allow the 17 participating agencies to provide mutual aid to other forces across jurisdictional boundaries. According to Captain Sonny Cox of the Greenwood Sheriff’s Office, the agencies will coordinate efforts, while sharing information and pooling their resources. Cox says the traffic agreement will target DUI enforcement, among other things.

A portion of the agreement reads:

“There is evidence that the prevention, detection, and enforcement of motor vehicle violations, such as DUI, and other traffic violations, in the 8th Judicial Circuit have a substantial and positive effect on the health and welfare and safety of the citizens of the State of South Carolina. Further a coordinated regional approach to traffic law enforcement can be more effective than the individual efforts of each participating agency alone.”

Sections 23-1-210 and 23-1-215 of the South Carolina Code of Laws allow agencies to enter into a written agreement that allows law enforcement officers to exercise jurisdiction within other counties or municipalities.

Cox said the agreement stemmed from a large number of traffic related complaints throughout the community. Law enforcement will target their efforts in areas where there is a high volume of traffic, where traffic collisions and traffic related deaths are common, and where they receive community complaints regarding traffic violations.

“Enforcement is going to be strict”, Cox said. “It’s going to enhance the quality of life for everyone”.

Participating agencies include:

South Carolina Highway Patrol
Abbeville Police Department
Abbeville Sheriff’s Office
Calhoun Falls Police Department
Clinton Public Safety Department
Due West Police Department
Fountain Inn Police Department
Greenwood Police Department
Greenwood Sheriff’s Office
Laurens Police Department
Laurens Sheriff’s Office
Newberry Police Department
Newberry Sheriff’s Office
Ninety-Six Police Department
Prosperity Police Department
Ware Shoals Police Department
Whitmire Police Department