GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office is adding a new patrol boat to its fleet.
In January 2021, Greenwood County Council approved the purchase, up to $75,000, for a second boat for the department.
Sheriff Dennis Kelly said it’s going to be a reliable addition and said the department’s previous boat is older and has had some mechanical issues.
“The boat that we have is a little older, and it kept breaking down,” said Kelly.
Sheriff Kelly said, soon, the new boat will head out onto the water and help monitor Lake Greenwood.
“We’re supposed to pick it up tomorrow, have all the lights and the radios installed and the markings on it,” said Kelly.
Along with the department’s current boat, the pair will be out on the lake for events and busy holiday weekends.
“We have like the fireworks on the lake, we have the ‘Dam Floatilla’, have some concerts out there on land, but a lot of people come up on boats,” said Kelly.
Kelly said the goal is to protect boaters and he believes deputies on the water makes people more mindful.
“We’re just out there, being visible. Officer presence is the first line of people understanding that they need to watch what they’re doing,” said Kelly.
He said the Department of Natural Resources handles enforcement on the lake, while the sheriff’s office is concerned with safety and potential crimes like theft from docks and boats.
“Anything of criminal offense, as far as theft or assaults or anything that occurs on the lake, DNR wants us to handle those issues. We have property crimes on the land and on the water,” said Kelly.
As weather warms up, he believes more people will head out on the lake. Sheriff Kelly encouraged people to be smart and stay safe.
“Just be conscious. Don’t have too much to drink, of course, and just be aware of other people and your surroundings,” said Kelly.
Kelly said the department’s new boat will be on the water in time for Memorial Day weekend.
The Greenwood County treasurer said the boat cost nearly $63,000. The County is also spent about $5,000 to add equipment to the boat, like lights and sirens.