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      Kershaw County Council targets Sheriff's Office

      An ordinance filed by the Kershaw County Council would replace the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office with a county police department if passed.

      KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WACH) - An ordinance created by the Kershaw County Council would create a county police department that would effectively render the county sheriff's office impotent.

      According to Sheriff Jim Matthews, the council is preparing a first reading of "an ordinance to approve the creation of a county police department to replace the law enforcement functions of the Sheriff of Kershaw County and create the Kershaw County Police Department which would exercise the custodial arrest authority previously exercised by the Sheriff of Kershaw County or his duly appointed and sworn deputies and the performance of duties conferred by state law upon the Sheriff of Kershaw County and those activities incidental to the performance of law enforcement duties."

      The first reading is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8 at the Kershaw County Council Chambers in Camden.

      If the ordinance is eventually approved by the council, the following question will be placed on the ballot in Kershaw County for the November 2012 general election:

      "Shall the Kershaw County Police Department be created as a county police department with the Kershaw County Police Department replacing the law enforcement functions of the Sheriff of Kershaw County meaning those activities and other duties which require the exercise of custodial arrest authority by a sheriff or his duly appointed ans sworn deputy or the performance of duties conferred by state law upon asheriff and those activities incidental to the performance of law enforcement duties will be devolved upon and exercised by the Kershaw County Police Department?"

      If the ordinance is passed, the sheriff and his deputies would lose law enforcement authority. The ordinance will be void if residents vote against it.

      Click here to read the ordinance.