A CAT team and new substations in Berkeley County are designed to lower crime

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is opening substations as the next step in their process of improving community policing. 
Sheriff Duane Lewis said when he took over as sheriff, “We needed to come up with a way to strengthen our community relations.”
Lewis put together a Community Action Team, or CAT. The CAT consists of 12 deputies. “They are stationed in specific neighborhoods and communities.”
They go through their areas on bikes and ATVs, and talk to the sheriff’s Community Advisory Board member in that community about crime problems and concerns. “If there’s a problem in that particular neighborhood it’s their responsibility to address it. And they have all of the resources of the sheriffs office to do that.”
Willis Sanders is on the community advisory board representing Sangaree. He is a retired Berkeley County educator. “I did work with the school district for 41 years. (I) began as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, down in the Goose Creek area.”
A number of sheriff’s office substations are opening to also work with CAT team deputies, including one at the base of the watertower in Sangaree. The substations will be manned by community volunteers.
Sanders says, “I think it’s improved Sangaree because it gives an opportunity for the residents to meet the sheriff’s deputies one on one. Bicycle patrol, they do a lot of patrol in the area and find out what are areas of concern in the community.”
Captain Annie Jackson runs the CAT program. She says it has had amazing results. “And I noticed kids now, when you walk out there, will come talk to you. It’s friendlier. It’s almost like they’re making us a part of their family or their community.”
Captain Jackson says the CAT teams are building relationships with kids, which will help keep them on the right track. “As a mother, you know, you almost feel like they’re your kids. They feel like part of your family and there’s nothing you won’t do for them if they need your help. You’ll be there to help them.”
The substation in Cross is the first one to open. A number of other stations will be opening soon. 

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