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Duke Energy Grant Improves Communication Capabilities among Law Enforcement Agencies in Oconee County

(Walhalla, SC)-------------------------------------A recent $20,000 grant from Duke Energy will assist in improving communication capabilities between the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and two state Law Enforcement agencies.


The grant enabled the Sheriff’s Office to purchase 13 handheld radios which have been distributed to game wardens with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and to troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. 


“The purchase of these radio’s will help to increase communication, in both emergency situations and daily law enforcement operations, between our Deputies and our partners with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Highway Patrol,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.  “We are grateful to Duke Energy for this grant which allowed us to purchase these radios.  The improvement in our ability to communicate will prove to be beneficial to our citizens and visitors by continuing to make Oconee County a safe place to live, work and play.”


Sheriff Crenshaw says that the Sheriff’s Office is on a different radio system than Department of Natural Resources or the Highway Patrol.  The radios will enable all three agencies to communicate with one another with the push of a button on the radios, according to Sheriff Crenshaw.


The radios were presented last Thursday afternoon, at the Sheriff’s Office, to First Sergeant Ron Hedden of the Department of Natural Resources and First Sergeant Leroy Kelley of the Highway Patrol.  Trent Acker from Duke Energy was also in attendance yesterday when the radios were presented. 


“The Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit works very closely with the Department of Natural Resources in regards to patrol of the lakes in Oconee County,” says Sheriff Crenshaw.  “Our Deputies will often assist Highway Patrol with traffic accidents in regards to agency assist duties, such as traffic control while a wreck investigation is ongoing or helping to set up a landing zone.  Plus, we would coordinate personnel and resources, both on land and on the water, in the event of an incident at the Oconee Nuclear Station.  In any emergency, seconds count and our ability to more effectively communicate may mean the difference between life and death.”


“Duke Energy works alongside our local emergency management and law enforcement teams every day in our communities,” said Trent Acker, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “These radios will be a critical tool in the toolbox for first responders in Oconee County and we are glad to support the Sheriff’s efforts in bringing multiple agency partners together for the safety of residents and visitors for many years to come.”




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