By HEATHER WALTERS
A Mutual Aid Agreement between the county’s top law enforcement agency and one of the county’s municipalities has been restored.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the Cottageville Police Department have reunited in their willingness to help each other, with the leaders of those agencies choosing to restore both agencies’ former Mutual Aid Agreement. “This agreement puts our citizens’ safety first and allows us to be more efficient with response times within the county,” said Colleton County Sheriff Buddy Hill.
“Cottageville officers can respond outside of their town’s jurisdiction for quicker response time for emergency calls for service. This results in a faster response time if a Colleton County deputy isn’t close enough to a specific area,” said Hill.
Likewise, the sheriff’s office assists the Cottageville Police Department with calls for service from residents, back-up to help any Cottageville officer on any emergency call, assistance with criminal investigations, or any help or response needed for natural disasters or emergencies.
“The Mutual Aid Agreement is somewhat formal,” Hill said. “Both agencies must sign off on the agreement. The agreement is renewed every anniversary year.”
Chief Cook said on Sunday that he is ecstatic to have the Mutual Aid Agreement restored and believes that the sheriff’s office and the Cottageville police force will work well together.
According to Cook, the Mutual Aid Agreement allows the Town of Cottageville officers to respond quickly to calls happening immediately outside of their jurisdiction. The town’s actual municipal limits are enclosed in an approximate 1-square-mile radius. However, most of the areas just outside of this circle are considered to be under the county’s jurisdiction. The agreement gives Cottageville officers “permission” to go to those criminal calls or public calls for assistance.
On the flip side, Cook said the county’s assistance to Cottageville is also needed and will help all Cottageville residents and businesses.
“I believe under the leadership of Sheriff Hill that Colleton County will be safer,” said Cook. “Buddy Hill is a good man, and we are proud to have a Mutual Aid Agreement with the County.
“This will impact Cottageville citizens and will only improve the safety of our citizens,” he said.