Uptick in gang, gang violence in Aiken County; Sheriff asking for resources to help curb it

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AIKEN COUNTY, S.C.(WJBF) — Violence in Aiken County is rising and Sheriff Michael hHnt is working to bring in new positions to the department to stop the increase.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate to manage them the best we can here, but we have seen an uptick,” the Sheriff said during a recent budget work session.

Those upticks Hunt wants to bring them under control. The top enforcer at the sheriff’s office thinks it time to have a separate division solely focused on gangs and gang violence.

“If any police administrator in the country tells you they don’t have gangs they’re not telling you the truth,” he said.

The proposal asks for four positions. Those new positions, we’re told, will be working in the agency’s special operations unit.

“So the plan there would be to have those four investigators do a gang intelligence operation,” the Sheriff said.

As far as money, the breakdown includes $45,275 for salary. Benefits will be about $23,500 and first-year equipment about $49,000. “We’ll keep up with these gangs and track them and keep up who the players are and what they’re doing and what also, they would also have the responsibility of crime suppression, Hunt added.

For Captain Eric Abdullah with the Sheriff’s Office, he says the way to stop gangs and gang violence is witness cooperation. “Those individuals who see the suspects and know them and can identify them, you know, point us out. We’re not asking for a whole lot, but we do rely on our community because we all are in this together,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff also asked for four civilian crime scene technicians, three radar units, and a child fingerprint system.

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