Permanent Police Presence Now in Eastover

Richland Co. Sheriff's Department unveils new substation

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By Monique Williams

EASTOVER, S.C. (WOLO) -- A changing of the guard in the small town of Eastover takes place and provides much needed police presence.

"People wanna come in from the outside break in houses, deal drugs, we won't have that. We'll be here to make sure it doesn't happen," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott today in Eastover.

That's a promise folks in the small town have waited to hear. Today marks the official unveiling of a new Richland County substation in the heart of the small town, providing a permanent police presence that's been missing for months.

"We look forward to working with him as sheriff, protector for the town of Eastover," said Mayor Geraldene Robinson.

Ongoing struggles led to the town of under a thousand to be without official law enforcement leadership. Now, a new partnership allows four deputies to be on patrol 'round the clock. Also, deputies from the Community Action Team, Code Enforcement, Fugitive Team and the Gang Unit are now only minutes away.

An increased police presence is already encouraging the community to do better as well.

"Sometimes you have to respond to your anger and emotions and this is a more positive way to go," said one resident, speaking of the frustration she feels having gone so long without a police presence.

"In addition, businesses feel better. When you can go home and not have to worry about your business getting broken into it makes you want to add more money and develop business further," said another resident.

"The sheriffs being here now will be much better for us now. Safety has been a community concern for a long time," said Councilwoman Rhudine Robinson.

It's a long time, that seems to be coming to an end.

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