Timmonsville Police moves forward with the full authority of the badge

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Timmonsville's Police Department now has full police power.

State agencies have empowered the police department here with the full authority of the badge.

Timmonsville Police can now make arrests, write tickets and perform investigations.

"I just did our first case. Our first case number which is one," Timmonsville Police Chief Gregory Palmer. said

Chief Palmer is single-handedly running the town's police department and trying to get it back up on its feet.

"So we are moving forward. We have two vehicles with radios in them right now. I have a total of five that I'm going to try and put back in rotation," Palmer said.

This is the second month the chief and the police department are active.

Back in 2012, Timmonsville Town Council shut down the department, citing funding cuts for the layoffs.

But since the department's new birth, Chief Palmer said the department is taking baby steps to rebuild the force.

"I'm going to take the applications that I have and start processing those for possible employment," Palmer said.

Timmonsville Town Council has given Palmer the go-ahead to hire one full-time officer.

The Chief is looking for someone with experience and someone who can help fill a number of positions due to the fact that there will only be two officers running a five person police department.

Palmer says adding the officer will greatly increase safety for the community and for him.

"The back-up situation is … depending on what type of call…. Domestics, assaults, fights in progress that type of stuff it's not safe for an officer to do that on his own," Palmer said.

Palmer says until he gets the department's staffing numbers up, he will continue to request back up from the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

But backup isn't the only thing Timmonsville's new PD will have to borrow from the Sheriff's Office.

"The sheriff's department is a little bit more equipped and prepared to handle certain investigations interviews and that kind of thing," Palmer said.

Palmer said due to the town's lack of equipment, he may have to get help on certain types of investigations from the Sheriff's office.

But Palmer says these types of issues are to be expected when rebuilding a police department – and he looks forward to watching the department grow.

Palmer could start interviewing candidates for the open police position next week.

He said one month from now he hopes to have the position filled.

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