Aiken County hosting community town hall meetings, leader discuss body cameras for deputies

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County leaders are hoping to get input from the community through several town hall meetings over the next few weeks.

County leaders say it’s a chance to strengthen ties with Aiken residents.

“Basically it’s to foster better community relations,” said Community Relations Committee District 6 Representative Colen Lindell.

In January, Aiken County launched a new community outreach program to open up the lines of communication between the local government and taxpayers. From Wagener Sally to North Augusta and everywhere in-between, the newly formed Community Relations Council is gearing up for the “Listening Tour.”

Committee representatives hope the meetings will help the local government learn what it can do to improve the quality of life in Aiken County.

“I think law enforcement will probably be something or more broadly emergency services are probably going to be something that is going to be of interest, no matter where they live.” Committee Chairman and District 4 Representative Scott Singer told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Since former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley mandated body cameras for deputies, Aiken County leaders started looking for means to fund the equipment.

The total cost of the body cameras is more than $180,000 dollars.

Aiken County Council Vice Chairman Andrew Siders says the county was awarded a grant to cover most of the cost for the body cameras.

“We got about $142,000 dollars in that grant,” he said. “The remainder, about $40,000 dollars, that we will come up with.”

Siders says before the end of the year Aiken County deputies will be sporting the new gear.

While this didn’t come out of the town halls, it’s this type of forward thinking the Community Relations Committee wants from the town hall meetings.

“One of the primary goals of the community relations council is to develop lines of communication, trust and really love in our community.” Singer said.

Public Hearing Schedule: 

  • Sat., March 4th at North Augusta High School auditorium 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Sat., March 18th at Wagener Salley Town Hall 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Mon., March 27th at U.S.C.A. Penland Bldg (Room 106) 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mon., April 10th at Schofield Middle School cafeteria 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sat., April 29th at Silver Bluff High School auditorium 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Mon., May 8th Midland Valley High School auditorium 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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