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Could Eutawville police provide service to Town of Vance soon?

Eutawville police chief Sean Hopkins says if Vance had access to police presence from the next town over, response time could be cut down to just five minutes.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — The Eutawville Police Department says it is working to expand into the nearby Town of Vance, which does not have its own police force. 

Eutawville police chief Sean Hopkins says Vance currently does not have its own department and receives assistance from the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.

“Depending on where they are, what calls they might be on, their response time could be anywhere from 15 minutes, if they’re coming from Santee, or it could be up to an hour," Hopkins said.

Hopkins says if the town had access to police presence from the next town over, it would cut response time down to just five minutes. Hopkins says they would step in to help with traffic and drug and alcohol violations.

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"We're not the first responders for the Town of Vance, but what I'm trying to do is reach out to Vance to see if there's a possibility that we can accept that to get the first responder status because we are closer and we could provide the service a little bit better," Hopkins said.

Hopkins says the Eutawville Police Department already has mutual aid agreements with other towns in the county, including Holly Hill, Santee, Elloree, Bowman, and Branchville. 

"We've reached out to those agencies already so there is a need for requesting of manpower. All they have to do is call us and then we go to that agency," Hopkins said.

Hopkins says the department typically gets dispatched to these towns for situations like a parade or town fair that require more personnel. The goal is to establish a similar partnership with the Town of Vance so first responders will be on hand and can respond as quickly as possible.

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"There's a need for agencies to reach out and try to find ways to think outside of the box," Hopkins said. "One of those would possibly be reaching out to other places to see if they would like to contract for law enforcement services so that we could provide a service on a minimal scale but get a presence there to help them out."

Hopkins says the department is currently training to become certified first responders. They are training in first aid and CPR. He says the plan to consolidate with the Town of Vance is in its early stages, and he is currently discussing the next steps with the Mayor of Vance.

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