NORWAY –Norway’s Interim Police Chief Brad Wilke and Mayor Tracie Clemons both stated during Monday’s town council meeting that the town is starting the process for mutual aid agreements with multiple towns and counties for sharing officers and resources with the Norway Police Department and vice-versa.
Wilke said, “We are looking at mutual aid agreements with other towns … I had a meeting with (Orangeburg County) Sheriff (Leroy) Ravenell regarding this.”
The mutual aid agreements, if accepted, will be with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, and the towns of Springfield, North, Livingston, Swansea and Neeses.
“We had a meeting with Sheriff Ravenell,” Clemons said. “Neeses and Livingston do not have a police force, for example. We are looking to help each other out in western Orangeburg County.”
“The key here is police presence. We are looking to share officers,” she said.
Wilke said, “Each of these mutual aid agreements has to go to each city and county to be approved.”
Council agreed to and signed off on the agreements, which are being sent to other municipalities and counties to see if they will approve them. More information on those that may be approved will be given at a later date.
A citizen asked if Denmark, which is south of Norway across the county line, would be included in the mutual aid agreements.
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Wilke said, “We did not include Denmark because that would have been an additional county.”
Councilman and water commissioner Travis Golden stated the bids came in on Feb. 28 for the Winchester Avenue water line area, where there have been significant recent leaks, and other water line areas.
Clemons said the lowest bidder is still being selected and that the improvements for the Winchester Avenue water lines were started under the auspices of former Mayor Ann Johnson.
Johnson stated during public comments that part, not all, of Winchester Avenue’s water lines will be improved and that other improvements will be on Hunter Strett and Maple Street and parts of other nearby streets.
Clemons said the public works department has two new employees, and they will have hard hats, and their uniforms and vehicle will be marked with a town logo.
Under old business, Clemons said that the original oak symbol flag will remain in the museum as per the family’s wishes but that the Town of North will be looking into making a copy of it to display.
In other business:
• Clemons said that night court will start Wednesday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the old Willow School chambers with the County Magistrate Stephanie McKune-Grant presiding. She said that night court will be held every second Wednesday thereafter.
• Wilke reported that he has restructured every part of the police department, has made the department more in line with state regulations, has accepted the resignations of Officers Blanchard and Patel, and that he is looking to hire somebody with 27 years of experience. Wilke also said that the department will get a new badge design, and the Norway police vehicles will be marked more prominently with a design. He said that more than $1,000 in equipment has been donated to the department, including Tasers and computer equipment.
• Wilke said that the town is looking into U.S. Department of Agriculture grants for computers for the One Solution software council approved last month. He said that the police department is moving to an enforcement stage under his leadership. He said that he would contact the S.C. Department of Transportation about additional signage for areas where there are speeders and also for some pothole repairs.
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