Sumter County, SC (WLTX) -- The Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center is currently under the power of the Sumter County Council. But the Sumter County Sheriff wants the county jail under his authority.
"I feel like it will be better for the county as a whole," said Sheriff Anthony Dennis.
Two months ago, the longtime director of the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center resigned. In his letter to the County Council, Sheriff Dennis said it is a logical time to move forward with transferring the jail back to the Sheriff.
"It would certainly be more effective and more efficient if the Sheriff's Office was in control of the jail. Not only would it be beneficial to the officers themselves, but financially, it would be beneficial to the citizens of this county," he said.
According to Dennis, of the 46 counties in South Carolina, there are only 14 counties where the sheriffs do not have custody of the jail.
Dennis said the services between the jail and the Sheriff's Office are being duplicated, like prisoner transportation and training, and if he had control over the jail, those services would be consolidated. But he said there would be no jobs lost in the process.
"Our officers will have the opportunity to work at the jail prior to coming on the road. I think it would be a great experience for the officers," said Dennis.
In the letter, Dennis said a number of his deputies have prior training and experience as correctional officers, and he said it will be valuable on-site assets.
"I think the transition would be smooth because of that. I see it as a win-win," said Dennis.
News 19 reached out to James McCain, the Chairman of the Sumter County Council. He said the Council is still considering the Sheriff's request, as well as considering all options available.
McCain said the Council will continue discussing Sheriff Dennis' request Tuesday in a committee meeting before the Council's regular meeting, but he does not anticipate any action at this time.
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